More and more Americans are spending the time and money to improve their health. They join fancy gyms, buy new exercise wardrobes and commit to cooking more instead of dining out. They take all the sugar out of the house and swear off potato chips.
Instead of spending weekends watching television, they go on long outdoor hikes or bicycle rides or head out for ski getaways. All of these things focus on improving physical health, losing weight, and getting fit. But a lot of people miss a crucial component that everyone should be focusing more on: improving their brain health.
Some of the same things that are good for your body in general are also good for your brain, but there are other steps you can be taking to improve your memory, learning abilities and other brain functions. Below are some brain health tips for optimum brain health.
TIP #1 – Spend more time sleeping.
To get started on improving your brain health, why not begin with something easy and enjoyable like sleeping more? As if you needed another reason to get to bed earlier, improving your brainy abilities is something to add to the list. If you have found yourself not feeling particularly sharp during the daytime, or you see that your productivity has dropped, consider getting more sleep. Your brain and your body will both be grateful.
TIP #2 – Play Sudoku and other kinds of brain games.
If you have never played Sudoko, today is a great day to start. It is an excellent tool for improving your brainpower. The rules are not hard to follow and there is basically an infinite amount of free boards available online. You do not need to be a math inclined person to enjoy this numbers game. You can put Sudoku on your phone, find it in your newspaper, or play on Facebook. Not into Sudoku? Try crossword puzzles and word games like Scrabble or Boggle.
TIP #3 – Find inner peace with meditation.
If you tend to think of meditation as being something just for hippies or shamans, change your mind. Meditation has been shown to cut stress levels significantly – and stress is largely considered to be one of the worst things you can do to your brain. It has also been shown, by the way, to cause physical problems like acne and hair loss. Meditating is a great, accessible way to combat stress.
TIP #4 – Tell stories.
Storytelling is a common tool for helping Alzheimer’s patients work on their memory skills, but it can help people with healthy brains as well. Just start telling stories to the people around you – even the ones that aren’t necessarily the most entertaining! You can also write the stories down or just tell them to yourself in the mirror.
TIP #5 – Get more physical exercise.
If you don’t exercise, consider brain health to be another good reason to start. Your physical body will look better, but your mind will be sharper too. If you are bored of the gym or your basement treadmill, get yourself out of the house and into the outdoors. Try a nice outdoor hike, for example. Play with friends to make it more fun – pickup basketball is a great workout and its social, too!
About the author: Steven Madison enjoys writing about brain exercises and other ways to promote optimum brain heath and education. Steven is a writer for Anatomy Now’s website .