Being healthy involves more than maintaining a safe body weight and BMI. It also includes taking care of your brain. It’s not the most popular health subject right now, but brain health is vital to the proper functioning of the rest of your body. If you’re ready to dive into total wellness, here are five very simple ways to boost your brain health.
Get More Sleep
Getting the proper amount of sleep can do wonders for your brain’s health. In an article published by the Huffington Post, studies revealed the work that the mind does while we sleep, and this is some pretty amazing stuff. According to the report, sleep time is used to do everything from clearing out toxins to consolidating and creating memories. This is also the time when it makes creative connections that lead to those epiphanies you have during the day.
Increase Your Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for a healthy brain, and luckily there are a few sources that provide plenty of it. Our largest natural resource for vitamin D is the sun. You don’t need to spend hours on end sunbathing, but just a few extra minutes each day can help reduce the risk of developing diseases that affect the brain, and improve nerve conduction. If you just can’t find the time to head outside for 15-30 minutes each day, you could always add a glass or two of milk to your daily diet.
Play Brain Games
It turns out that those crossword puzzles in the back of the newspaper provide more than entertainment. Cognitive exercises (brain games) help to keep your mind sharp and functioning at full potential. They enhance functions like memory, calculation, and problem solving. If crossword puzzles aren’t really your thing, you can play other games like chess or Tetris. There are also plenty of apps available for training and keeping the mind sharp.
Exercise is great for fighting anxiety and depression; two very common mental disorders. A good workout can also enhance your cognitive abilities, typically in the areas of memory, analysis, and organization. The primary reason for this is due to the increase in blood flow to the brain during exercise, which results in increased oxygen levels. Any exercise is beneficial, but cardio can give you a quick mental boost when you desperately need it. This could be as simple as a brisk walk on your lunch break, or a quick run up and down the stairs at home.
Up Your Caffeine Intake
Here’s a great reason to keep the coffee flowing in the morning. Caffeine not only gives you a pick me up, but it also stimulates your brain and helps enhance your ability to perform basic cognitive functions. It improves reaction time, mood and vigilance and memory. The key to getting caffeine to work for you is not to have too much. One or two cups should give you plenty of brainpower to last for hours.
If you’re like most people, you already know what foods make you fat, and what exercises help you to lose weight. But keeping the brain in tip top shade is, unfortunately, not common knowledge. These are just five ways that you can help improve cognitive function, and give your brain the “stuff” it needs to work at it’s maximum capacity.