Many of us cherish having a life full of memories. A new presidential advisory from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association explains that how you live your life now might help you with those memories! It defines brain health and looks at factors that can help keep your noggin nimble throughout life. Today, we are going to talk about what a healthy brain looks like, and give you seven simple steps for a heathy brain and a (hopefully) happy life.
What does a healthy brain look like?
You need a healthy brain to live a longer and fuller life. Why? Because your brain impacts your daily thoughts, plans and emotional connections. A healthy brain is able to:
- pay attention
- receive and recognize sensory input
- learn and remember
- solve problems and make decisions
- support movement
- regulate emotions
So, let’s talk about how you can focus on your brain health.
When should you start focusing on your brain health?
In a word: now! Some folks think that the elderly are the only people who need to focus on memory loss, learning, and brain function. But, did you know that blood flow to the brain (a function that keeps it healthy) could be impacted as early as childhood by health factors like obesity and high blood pressure? That’s why the advisory highlights how important it is to focus on a healthy brain as early as possible. And, a big part of that is focusing on good blood flow – to your brain, your heart, and throughout your body.
What can you do to keep your brain healthy?
A healthy lifestyle benefits your brain as much as your body. Here are seven steps to get you started on your journey to a healthier brain:
- Move more. Getting active may bring more time with family and friends, and even enjoying something new for yourself. Check out how to move more.
- Eat healthy (and clean). Following a heart-healthy eating pattern can put you on the road to great brain health. Get started with this blueprint for healthy eating.
- Focus on your weight. If you need to, shed those extra pounds to take the stress off your heart, lungs, and other essential parts of your body. Learn how to lose weight and keep it off.
- Manage your blood pressure. When your blood pressure stays within a healthy range, your body (and brain!) benefit. Learn more about managing your blood pressure.
- Control cholesterol. Keep your arteries clear and healthy by paying attention to your cholesterol.
- Reach healthy blood sugar levels. Most of the food we eat turns into glucose (blood sugar), that our bodies can use for energy. It’s important to focus on foods that give us energy, good nutrition, and keep our blood sugar in check.
- Stop Smoking. Get the fact and learn how to stop smoking to help your brain and your life.
Learn more about healthy aging and test your brain health smarts with a short brain health quiz, today!