Tips to Maintain a Healthy Brain 

by Lisa McPhee, Open Arms Content Writer | March 10, 2023

human brain toy

Have you ever taken the time to think about how exceptional your brain is? It boasts billions of neurons, connected by trillions of synapses that send electrical impulses at an unbelievable 260 + miles per hour! Comprised of 60% fat, it is by far the fattiest organ in your body and requires sufficient nourishment to sustain its voluptuousness. It is truly, a 3-pound powerhouse of remarkable matter. March is Brain Health Awareness Month in Canada. To celebrate this extraordinary organ, let us discuss the ways to maintain your top cerebral function! 

The Ontario Brain Institute keeps the tips simple, and fun! 

  1. Sleep: Quality sleep is an essential practice for the brain to process and retain information. In accordance with the GCBH (Global Council on Brain Health) the optimal duration of sleep is 7-8 hours, even as you age. To help enhance your sleep, try to develop, and stick to a bedtime routine. Ensure there is little to disturb you at night and create a comfortable, quiet, dark space. Carry out tasks that help you unwind before bed and avoid things that will cause overstimulation. 
  2. Relax: Govern things that incite stress and develop coping mechanisms that you enjoy. Develop deep breathing skills, meditate, or stretch. Even something as simple as listening to music can be a fantastic stress relief to some. Check out the CDC’s recommendations for coping with stress here. 
  3. Think: Exercise that important organ between your ears! Do something that your brain is not accustomed to. For example, learn a new language or game, challenge yourself to complete a jigsaw or sudoku puzzle. Here is some fun brain games for seniors 
  4. Eat: Your body gains energy from the foods you eat, and your brain consumes 20% of that energy. Consume a brain healthy diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables, and foods that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, oysters, cod-liver oil, anchovies, and sardines.  
  5. Move: The Alzheimer’s Society completed a review of 11 studies combined and it was surmised that 20-30 minutes a day of aerobic activity, 3 times a week while sustained for over a year has shown to decrease the risk of developing dementia by about 30%. For Alzheimer’s specifically it has been shown to lower the risk by over 45%! Aerobic activity can be anything from playing sports, to a brisk walk, to gardening. To find out more read this article from the NIH. 
  6. Play: Get out there and maintain an active social life! Schedule an outing with a family member or colleague, video chat with a distant friend, or join a club. As stated by a rich social network reduces stress, combats depression, and stimulates your brain intellectually. This in turn, slows the rate of memory decline.  

Keeping your brain healthy and active is crucial to your wellbeing. It has an enormous job to perform! By observing the above advice, we can help it perform to its optimal efficiency. 

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