- Break a sweat - Engage is some cardiovascular exercise that elevates your heart rate. This is good for your brain and body!
- Hit the books - Reading is great for your mind! Help your brain by continuing to learn something new. This is great for any stage of life because it may help reduce your risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
- Butt out - Evidence shows that smoking increases risk of cognitive decline. Quitting smoking can reduce that risk to levels comparable to those who have not smoked.
- Follow your heart - Evidence shows that risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke - obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, negatively impact your cognitive health.
- Heads Up - Brain injury can raise your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Wear a seat belt, use a helmet, and take steps to prevent falls.
- Fuel Up Right - Eat a healthy and balanced diet that is mostly vegetables and fruit. This can help to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
- Catch some Zzz’s - Not getting enough sleep due to conditions like insomnia or sleep apnea may result in problems with memory and thinking.
- Take care of your mental health - Some studies link a history of depression with increased risk of cognitive decline, so seek medical attention if you have symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns. Managing stress can help too.
- Buddy Up - Staying socially engaged may support brain health, like participating in Young at Heart group exercise classes. Pursue activities' that are meaningful to you. Find ways to be a part of your community.
- Stump yourself - Challenge and activate your mind. Build something, complete a jigsaw puzzle, do something artistic, or play a game! Have fun! Challenging your mind may have short and long term benefits for your brain.
Show your brain some love. Your brain is the command center of your body - and just like your heart, lungs and other critical organs, it deserves to be a priority when it comes to your health.
Originally posted in the Young at Heart Instructor Newsletter - July 2015