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Healthy Habits To Support Brain Function

When it comes to improving brain health it can be something a lot of us put on the back burner. While maintaining your physical health does help with your brain function we could all use a few ideas to keep your mind sharp as well. Let's explore some different ways to help keep you sharp!

Brain Function & Aging

Did you know your brain shrinks in volume as you age? In fact after the age of 40 each decade it shrinks a whopping 5%! Throughout the course of your lifespan your brain changes more than any other part of the body. Despite the changes in cognition that come with older age, adults can still do many things to help improve their brain function & maintain it through the years to come.

Trying new things

More often than not we have stick to our normal routines & don't often branch out to try or learn something new. There are many things you can do to actively stimulate the brain & improve brain function here are some ideas!

  • Learn a new language

  • Play a new instrument

  • Solve a puzzle

  • Build your vocabulary

  • Read a book

  • Use your senses

  • Try a new workout

  • Play cards!

Get creative

When it comes to brain function yours can be dramatically improved by getting your creative juices flowing. Being creative while doing something you love can put you in a flow state that helps ease the mind & get you "in the zone". The frontal cortex has long been thought of as the hub or center of creativity. You don't have to pick up a paintbrush to get creative here are some activities if you see yourself as "non-creative"

  • Try to free-write it can be about anything at all. Can't think of anything? Write about the first thing you see when you look up from your notebook!

  • Brainstorm while you're doing an everyday task

  • Travel to places you've never been & learn about the culture

  • Connect with creative people

Manage stress levels

Your brain hates stress! Staying on top of your stress level can help keep cortisol levels down and keep your brain healthy. Stress & anxiety affect brain functions like attention, memory, reasoning & problem-solving. Here are some ideas to help aid you in managing stress levels so you can improve brain function.

  • Get a massage

  • Take a bath

  • Meditate

  • Try a yoga class

  • Listen to your favorite music

  • Take breaks while working

  • Go on a walk

  • Do something you love

  • Light candles

Get active

Getting in a good workout is not only healthy for your body but also for your brain! Physical activity can improve your cognitive health—helping you think, learn, problem-solve, and enjoy emotional balance. If you don't think of yourself as an "active" person there are ways to get in physical activity without having to step foot in a gym here are some ideas:

  • Try rock climbing

  • Go for a bike ride

  • Do laps in the pool

  • Go for a round of golf

  • Go dancing

  • Play frisbee

  • Hiking

  • Take your dog to the park

  • Kayaking

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