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Improve Brain Health Now: Easy Steps

We can summarize a lot of research by saying that there are four essential pillars to maintaining a healthy brain that functions better now and lasts longer. Those pillars are:

  • 1) Physical Exercise
  • 2) Mental Exercise
  • 3) Good Nutrition
  • 4) Stress Management

Great … now what?! How do you develop a healthy lifestyle that includes all four pillars? Let’s look at each one.

  1. 1. Physical Exercise
    • – Start by talking to your doctor, especially if you are not currently physically active, have special health concerns, or are making significant changes to your current program.
    • – Set a goal that you can achieve. Do something you enjoy for even just 15 minutes a day. You can always add more time and activities later.
    • – Schedule exercise into your daily routine. It will be become a habit faster if you do.
    • – If you can only do one thing, do something cardiovascular, meaning something that gets your heart beating faster. This includes walking, running, skiing, swimming, biking, hiking, tennis, basketball, playing tag, ultimate Frisbee, and other similar sports/activities.
  2. 2. Mental Exercise
    • – Be curious! Get to know your local library and community college, look for local organizations or churches that offer classes or workshops
    • – Do a variety of things, including things you aren’t good at (if you like to sing, try painting too)
    • – Work puzzles like crosswords and sudoku or play games like chess and bridge
    • – Try a computerized brain fitness program for a customized workout
    • – If you can only do one thing, learn something new every day
  3. 3. Good Nutrition
    • – Eat a variety of foods of different colors without a lot of added ingredients or processes
    • – Plan your meals around your vegetables, and then add fruit, protein, dairy, and/or grains
    • – Add some cold-water fish to your diet (tuna, salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, and herring) which contain omega-3 fatty acids
    • – Learn what a portion-size is, so you don’t overeat
    • – Try to eat more foods low on the Glycemic Index
    • – If you can only do one thing, eat more vegetables, particularly leafy green ones
  4. Stress Management
    • – Get regular cardiovascular exercise
    • – Try to get enough sleep each night
    • – Keep connected with your friends and family
    • – Practice meditation, yoga, or some other calming activity as way to take a relaxing time-out (maybe a bath)
    • – Try training with a heart rate variability sensor, like the one in emWave (formerly known as Freeze-Framer)
    • – If you can only do one thing, set aside 5-10 minutes to just breathe deeply and recharge

Special Offer: For a limited time, you can receive a complimentary copy of our Brain Fitness 101 e-Guide: Answers to your Top 25 Questions, written by Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg and Alvaro Fernandez, by subscribing to our monthly newsletter. You can subscribe Here.

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31 Responses

  1. Alvaro says:

    Uthara: make sure to come back to the site next week, when we will publish a great interview with Dr. Judith Beck that will help solve your question. The key is not so much the specific diet as improving our motivation and discipline to stick to a good nutrition over the long term.

  2. […] Check out the other ways to improve your brain health . . . […]

  3. […] I have read a good write-up about easy steps to improve brain health and these steps does not require you to invest for anything except for living a healthy life. It said that physical exercise, mental exercise, good nutrition and stress management are the essential factors to attain healthy brain that you can keep for years to come. […]

  4. […] How do you develop a healthy lifestyle that includes all four pillars? Take a look at Improve Brain Health Now: Easy Steps. addthis_url = ‘http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sharpbrains.com%2Fblog%2F2007%2F11%2F08%2Fexercise-on-the-brain-a-nyt-oped%2F’; addthis_title = ‘Exercise+On+the+Brain%3A+a+NYT+OpEd’; addthis_pub = ‘sharpbrains’; Learn More about Brain Fitness About Our Seminars Find the Right Program Tags: brain exercise, Brain health, Good Nutrition, healthy aging, mental exercise, nyt, Physical Exercise, stress management […]

  5. […] 21 December, 2007 by Lars I was exploring some of the articles on Sharpbrains.com today, and I discovered a link to a nice site on meditation. […]

  6. Nick says:

    Nutrition is huge, but don’t forget about rest! If you don’t eat properly, you could probably make yourself feel 110% better if you started eating a balanced diet.

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