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How to keep brain healthy and active

BY: Swati | Category: Health and Fitness | Post Date: 2008-11-04

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A child's brain is like a sponge capable of absorbing enormous amounts of information, but as we grow older our brain power seems to decrease. Unlike most adults, children seem to learn new language or learn poems very quickly but as an adult we sometimes experience difficulty in remembering even small tasks, grocery items or recalling names, it can start as early as in our early thirties. To keep our brain in a healthy and active state, we need to give this little buddy a bit of extra care every day. To keep my brain healthy I am always looking for ways to super charge my brain, I am not a doctor but here are a few things I know that help to keep our mind active.

1. Avoid Stress:
Stress is known to effect not only our brain adversely but it is known to effect many vital organs of our body. When we are under stress our body releases several hormones, our blood pressure goes up and a combination of various unhealthy things our body undergoes through is certainly not good for the health of our brain. Long term stress damages your immune system and drains out the brain power.

2. Exercise Regularly:
It is very important to be physically active by doing regular exercises for about 30-40 minutes every day. This includes running or brisk walking and may be lifting some weights. When we exercise it increases our blood circulation and boosts oxygen levels significantly for the benefit of our body and brain. Many people tell that they feel more fresh and energetic all day long when they exercise regularly.

3. Do Brain Exercises:
Keep your brain active by playing mental games like crossword, solving riddles or playing scrabble. How about learning a new skill like dance or learning a new language. Keep your mind active and learn a new hobby every year. Keep your brain healthy by doing something you love to do like painting, blogging or just meeting new people so that your mind comes across new ideas and information.

4. Watch TV cautiously:
Excessive TV is not good for you, although TV shows like the Discovery channel, Math and science shows tend to help but most other shows like soap operas are nothing more than a waste of time. some shows may even leave us emotionally distressed. Why don't you get a computer instead and learn new technical skills on it. Watching TV for less than 1 hour a day is usually good for your eyes and brain. Over doing of anything is not good for the body.

5. Eat a Balanced Diet:
There are certain proteins, vitamins and minerals which are especially healthy for our brain. It is recommended to eat foods rich in antioxidants, vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, but reduce the intake of trans fats. Consuming limited amounts of fish, eggs and almonds is also good. Eat whole wheat as it contains lecithin that promotes healthy arteries, which in turn is good for your brain as well. Drink apple juice and consider taking one tablet of multivitamin a day that includes folate and antioxidants. Vitamin B-complex is also known to enhance brain's memory power. Limit your intake of caffeine and sugar. Last but not least, drink enough water.

6. Be Socially Active:
Meet your friends and relatives often, if nothing else be a volunteer, just don't be a recluse. Go out and explore new places, enjoy and laugh with friends. Interact with community groups and ask them if you can he helpful during during your free time. Enjoy simple pleasures like play with children, join a yoga class or go to a church on Sunday morning.

7. Sleep Well:
Your brain works all day long and it does need rest. Even though certain sections of our brain remain active even when we sleep, but overall our brain gets a chance to be more relaxed. If you are deprived of sleep it does not help towards keeping your brain healthy. It is recommended that an average adult should sleep for 7-9 hours per day.

8. Keep a Positive attitude:
Positive outlook in life is one of the most important things we can do to keep our brain healthy. It also helps to improve the sense of self-worth and effectiveness in our lives, therefore practice positive thinking.

9. Manage your Health Numbers:
Manage your cholesterol, blood pressure, sugar level and even weight. It will also help you to avoid or delay Alzheimer's disease and other age-related brain problems. Control your temper and stress.

10. Watch for Medical Conditions:
If you have a medical history in your family regarding brain related illness or problems, it is a good idea to keep a check on them yourself too before it becomes too late (For example - history of dementia). If you think you have been too forgetful lately, then consult your doctor.

11: Things that adversely effect your brain power:
Do not drink and smoke in excess. Never use illicit drugs. If you are taking a pre scription medication then ask your doctor if there are any side effects. If you see any sudden change in your mental or physical health then its wise to have a word with your doctor. Never leave a lonely life especially when you retire. never think yourself to be too old, always keep the child inside you alive. To keep your brain healthy and active, always look out for new hobbies.

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