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7 Ways to a More Healthy Brain

Apr 10, 2008
The media is full of messages concerning physical exercise and fitness, but do you ever hear a message about effectively exercising your brain?

Worry over general health spurs physical action and should include a routine for sustaining a healthy brain. When you start forgetting little things, a common fear is that Alzheimer's Disease is developing. This is far from true. In fact, most loss of memory has more to do with the medications you may be taking or lack or proper rest and nothing to do with Alzheimer's.

Have no fear! There are steps you can take to effectively exercise your brain to improve health and combat aging.

Use the 7 steps to a healthy brain outlined by Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld of Fox News Channel, to improve your general wellness.

1. Keep blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels in the "normal" range.

Systolic pressure under 120 and diastolic pressure below 80 are considered normal blood pressure values. Blood pressure is usually referred to as a fraction like 120/80.

Systolic is the peak pressure in the arteries while diastolic is the lowest pressure in the arteries. The actual pressure of your circulatory system fluctuates heart beat by heart beat and is dependent on the activities you engage in during your day.

2. Sleep adequately.

Many studies have shown the affects of sleep deprivation which include obstruction of healing. Lack of adequate sleep affects your immune system.

A 2007 study found that working memory can be drastically affected by lack of sleep over a constant period. Working memory keeps information active for more processing and supports functions like decision making and reasoning.

3. Have a good breakfast every day. Include more Omega-3 and Omega-6 to your diet.

Both are important to brain function and not present enough in the average diet. In fact a study on Parkinson's Disease showed that high doses of Omega-3 created a protective effect in the same way it did for Alzheimer's and is now the basis of additional study for prevention of Parkinson's.

4. Consume more fruits and vegetables.

Vegetables and fruits have necessary minerals, fiber and vitamins crucial to good health. Eating more from this food group is known to slash the risk of certain cancers, stroke and cardiovascular disease.

5. Keep socially active. Spend time doing puzzles like sudoku and crosswords; read a newspaper, magazine or book daily.

The British Association Festival of Science reported that doing crosswords and sukodu puzzles helped seniors keep their brains younger. In some cases, as much as 14 years.

Reading exposes you to different ideas and concepts. Whether aware of it or not, your brain will use those concepts to view the world and begin making new connections which stimulates brain health.

6. Avoid alcohol in abundance.

Alcoholics in treatment have been studied and show that excessive consumption of alcohol adversely affects the brain's ability to think abstractly and remember difficult tasks and concepts however, the IQ of an alcoholic did not decrease. Though there is no clear evidence, some studies show that even moderate consumption of alcohol shrinks the brain which harms cognitive functions.

7. Physical exercise every day for a minimum of 30 minutes.

New brain cells and blood vessels supplying the brain are fueled by physical exercise. When you are over 60, this growth enables better mental alertness.

Both the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services point out that a minimum of 30 minutes physical exercise daily is needed to reduce the risk of falling prey to chronic diseases.

As the medical community increases your ability to live longer you will have to give more emphasis to brain health and exercise. Maintain your brain just as much as our bodies to enjoy a long, healthy and happy life.

If you follow the 7 Steps to a Healthy Brain, you're on the road to feeling good both physically and mentally. Keep sharp and productive and improve your life. Why not start today?
About the Author
A healthy brain begins with a healthy workout that engages the brain. For the best method to achieve this, visit Kalynn Amadio's website Taekwondo-Network for powerful information on why martial arts is that two-in-one workout you need for a healthy body and mind.
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