15 tips for a healthy brain
- Be aware of your parents’ health. If they had heart problems, strokes, or memory problems – your chances of developing similar problems are increased. You need to be particularly dedicated to doing everything you can to enhance and preserve your brain’s health.
A healthy mind in a healthy body
- Engage in regular physical activity 4-5 times a week, 45-60 minutes at a time
- Avoid smoking, excessive alcohol use, or use of mind-altering drugs.
- Regular, sustained sleep. If your sleep is disjointed, your brain and body are not resting properly at night. Disrupted sleep is a risk factor for serious health problems, including obesity, hypertension, heart attacks, strokes and dementia.
- Watch your weight. Understand BMI (Body Mass Index). If yours is over 30 – adjust your lifestyle so you get on a path to lose weight.
- Blood pressure. If you have hypertension – have it treated.
- Diabetes – make sure you do not have it, and have it treated if you do.
- Cholesterol – if elevated take steps (dietary, medications) to reduce it
A healthy mind is an initiating mind
- Initiate cognitive activity on a daily basis: reading, writing, solving puzzles
- Initiate social activity – meet friends, talk to your family, find things you can do with others.
Being in the workforce – for pay or as a volunteer – fulfils requirements 9+10, and keeps your body and your mind healthy
Mood and the right hemisphere:
- Be aware of your mood: if you feel down, find out why and treat:
a. Medication, in adequate doses
b. Talk therapy, as needed
- Engage your right hemisphere – song, playing or listening to music, painting, pottery, cooking, sewing, embroidery, gardening, crafts.
- Eat a balanced diet. A “Mediterranean” diet is one such option. Consult a dietician or nutritionists to be sure that what you eat is best for your health.
- Take a daily multivitamin. Exception – if on warfarin (Coumadin) – consult your primary care provider for the best tailored vitamin supplementation option for you.
- Some specific vitamins – pay special attention:
a. Vitamin D – women and men – check the level, supplement if low, and check again to see it is now adequate.
b. Vitamin B12 – check the level, supplement if below 500, check again to see it is adequate
c. Vitamin B1 – check the level, supplement if low, check again to see it is adequate and stays adequate.
Do not stop vitamin supplementation after your levels have normalized, because there is a good chance they will drift back down without the supplementation.