Things You Should Do to Keep Your Brain Healthy
We’re often reminded that physical fitness plays a big role in overall health—and with that reminder comes a lot of advice—but what about the health of our minds?
Brain health seems to be one of those things that people don’t talk about as much and many people don’t consider it at all until they start experiencing problems, but the best course of action is to try to prevent or delay cognitive decline. In other words, instead of adopting these strategies at age 70, you would benefit most from adopting them early on.
We went through scientific studies and turned to experts on brain health to highlight the top tips for keeping your mind sharp throughout life. From staying social to learning new things—most of these tips are not just good for your brain, but beneficial for your physical and emotional well-being too—all the more reason to adopt these habits now.
Eat Your Veggies (and Olives)
“Numerous studies have found that greater adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet is associated with preservation of brain health and decreased risk of cognitive decline,” said Dr. Brendan Kelley, a neurologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and a member of Ohio State’s Neurological Institute. “This effect appears to extend throughout the lifespan, and a Mediterranean-style diet has even been associated with a decreased rate of cognitive decline among those already having cognitive impairment (or even dementia).”
It’s widely accepted that regular exercise is integral to overall health of the body, but the lesser-known benefits for the brain are equally as important. “Regular physical exercise has demonstrated a benefit in numerous health outcomes, including a widely replicated reduction in risk of cognitive decline and dementia,” said Kelley. “While the impact is greatest for people adopting this habit early and maintaining it throughout their life, studies have shown that it is never too late to enjoy the health benefits of regular physical activity.”