Brain Health Series: Lifestyle Choices

Spread the love

exercise man and dogResearch has found that next to aging, the most influential factors in determining one’s susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease are lifestyle and environmental factors. Things like sleep, stress, exercise and meditation can all help improve cognitive function and maybe even delay the onset of dementia.

Exercise: Aerobic exercise has been shown to increase the size of the hippocampus, one of the primary brain regions for memory and cognitive function. Plus, when you exercise, you generally feel better about yourself. When you feel healthy, you look better, blood flow to the brain is improved and your body runs better altogether. You will feel sharper and more on your game just because you were active. If you aren’t currently exercising and want to start, start small! If you can’t get through the whole workout today, just do what you can. Each time you exercise, you will get stronger and gain more endurance

Sleep: Getting enough sleep is critical to proper brain function. Sleep disturbances have been thought to initiate the onset of impaired learning and memory. Sleep is important to a number of brain functions, including how nerve cells (neurons) communicate with each other.  In fact, your brain and body stay remarkably active while you sleep.  Recent findings suggest that sleep plays a housekeeping role that removes toxins in your brain that build up while you are awake.  Click here for tips on a good night’s sleep.

Reduce Stress: Constant stress can make us feel more irritable and it impacts our ability to focus. Chronic stress can also interfere with our sleep. Research has found that people with high levels of blood cortisol tend to have poorer memory when compared with peers with normal cortisol levels. It is important for people to find ways to reduce stress, such as getting enough sleep, engaging in moderate exercise, incorporating relaxation techniques into their daily lives, or asking their primary healthcare practitioner about their cortisol levels. There are tests  available to determine your cortisol levels.

Meditation: Meditation can include any practices that promote relaxation, mindfulness or compassion. One study reported that meditation helped improve cognitive function and blood flow to the brain. The study also showed that practicing meditation had positive effects on the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain that plays a role in memory and learning.

Photo from here, with thanks.

Our Bloggers

  • Paula Gallagher
    Paula Gallagher
    Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
    read more..
  • Margo Gladding
    Margo Gladding
    Margo's impressive knowledge base is the result of a unique blend of educational and professional experience.
    read more..
  • Dr. Neal Barnard
    Dr. Neal Barnard
    Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research.
    read more..
  • Joseph Pizzorno
    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno
    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND is a pioneer of integrative medicine and a leading authority on science-based natural medicine.
    read more..
  • Debi Silber
    Debi Silber
    Debi is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, a personal trainer, and whole health coach.
    read more..
  • Teri Cochrane
    Teri Cochrane
    Teri is a is a Certified Coach Practitioner with extensive certifications and experience in holistic medicinal practices.
    read more..
  • Dr. Rav Ivker
    Dr. Rav Ivker
    Dr. Rav Ivker is a holistic family physician, health educator, and best-selling author.
    read more..
  • Susan Levin
    Susan Levin
    Susan writes about the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
    read more..
  • Rob Brown
    Dr. Rob Brown
    Dr. Brown's blended perspective of healthcare includes a deeply rooted passion for wellness and spiritual exploration.
    read more..
October 2019
S M T W T F S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031