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Scientists reveal 5 daily activities to boost brain health

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Scientists reveal 5 daily activities to boost brain health

Scientists reveal 5 daily activities to boost brain health

https://www.inverse.com/mind-body/5-daily-activities-to-boost-brain-health

inverse.com

6

Key Ideas

Keeping Your Brain Healthy

  • We can improve every aspect of our lives by keeping our most vital organ, our brain, healthy.
  • Exercise is not only good for your body but helps your brain by enhancing many brain structures and functions like the emotion regulating amygdala, and also the prefrontal cortex.

Tea and Brain Health

Drinking tea is good for the brain, helping regulate the age-related decline. It also strengthens the brain connections, the neural network inside the brain, making information processing more efficient.

Even coffee is said to be good to ward off the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Better Heart = Better Brain

Anything that is bad for the heart is bad for the brain, including smoking cigarettes, or having a sedentary lifestyle, or having diabetes.

Your blood sugar, body mass index, diet and blood pressure all contribute to the health of your heart, and your brain.

Forget Useless Information

We consume a lot of disposable information every day. Reading the news, or social media, makes our brains overloaded with irrelevant stuff we don’t need.

This also includes past memories that are no longer serving us. Too much information clouds your judgement and decision making.

Drinking A Bit

Consuming low levels of alcohol is associated with a lesser risk of dementia. The key is ‘low dose’. Heavy drinking leads to cognitive decline.

If your alcohol intake is well within limits and occasional, it will improve overall brain health.

Walk For Your Brain Health

Running, jogging and aerobic exercises also help the brain. If you can’t take out time to exercise, a simple walk will do.

Exercise is far better for the brain than sitting and solving brain games, which, according to new research, doesn’t help as much as previously thought.

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Move

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Eat Real Foods

Avoid stuff that comes wrapped in plastic. Foods that undergo ultra-processing tend to see much of their nutritional bounty stripped from them. Also, ultra-processed foods are much higher in energy density than foods made from fresh, whole ingredients.

A healthy diet is one rich in vegetables, whole grains, fish, and leaner meats with regular but not excessive consumption of fruits, nuts, and healthy oils.

Call Your Friends

Social connections are associated with reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol, improved sleep quality, reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, slowed cognitive decline, lessened systemic inflammation, and improved immune function.

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Our Brains are Upgradable

Our minds are not static, but dynamic. The Brain has the capability to modify itself, change its structure, and to alter its biochemistry, at any age.

We can renew, rewire, ...

Juggling

You can improve your grey matter by learning a new, complex skill like juggling.

The simple act of juggling has recently been linked with better brain function. A new study reveals that learning to juggle may cause certain areas of your brain to grow.

Learn Something New

Even if it is just for 10 minutes before going to bed, you should be learning new stuff every day, a new skill, a new word, a new kind of idea or philosophy. Expose your brain to new frontiers.

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Why You Should Take Breaks
Why You Should Take Breaks
  • “Movement breaks” are essential for your physical and emotional health. A 5-minute walkabout break every hour can improve your health and well-being.
  • Breaks can prevent ...
When Not to Take a Break

When you are in a state of “flow” it is not good to take a break.

“Flow” is characterized by complete absorption in the task, seemingly effortless concentration, and pleasure in the task itself.

Good Breaks

A “good break” will give that goal-oriented Prefrontal Cortex of yours a good rest by switching brain activity to another area.

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Running - the miracle drug

Many experts consider exercise to be the closest thing to a miracle drug. Running is one of the simplest ways to exercise. It can lift symptoms of depression and improve your mood. It bu...

Knee pain

Knee pain is often a sign of over-training or a need to improve form or flexibility. Running actually seems to improve knee health. Researchers found the more people ran, the less likely the were to suffer knee pain or osteoarthritis.

Running helps young people sleep

Research found that young people that run for 30 minutes, five days a week focus better during the day and sleep better at night.

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Different Decade, Different Resolutions
Different Decade, Different Resolutions

Some New Year's resolutions stay the same every decade, like getting plenty of sleep, getting more exercise, eating better, etc.

As we enter the year 2020, some other New Year Resolutions are...

Nutrition over the Decade

Dietary guidelines changed drastically over the decade.

  • Sugar is no longer classified as food, but as an addictive substance similar to cocaine.
  • Cholesterol and natural fat are not that bad for you anymore.
  • The definition of what healthy means has changed, and now encompasses a more holistic approach to our body.
  • Our gut microbes, which get killed by eating processed foods and antibiotics, need to be safeguarded now.
  • Emotional stress is a big contributor to our health.
Alcohol intake
We had doctors advising us that moderate alcohol is good for health, but that has changed over the decade.
Any amount of alcohol can risk conditions like cancer and obesity according to new research. This has resulted in plenty of low and zero alcohol beverages in the market.

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Routines and structure

Having no routine or structure is so much more draining mentally, physically, and emotionally than any routine could ever be. 

You're depriving your body and mind of the energy an...

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No e-mails in the morning

If you immediately check your email or social media accounts when you wake up in the morning, you’re starting your day off in reactive mode instead of proactive. It means spending the best part of the day on other people's priorities.

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Get More Sleep

Lack of sleep can result in you feeling lethargic, grumpy and tired. If you often feel this way, you may want to consider whether you’re getting enough sleep.

Try and aim for around 7 hour...

Reduce Stress

Feelings of stress can mean that you struggle to concentrate, experience racing thoughts, difficulty switching off and tiredness.

Strategies to improve your energy levels include taking some time for yourself to relax, reading or going for a walk.

Move More

One study found that sedentary people with persistent, unexplained fatigue decreased their tiredness by around 65% just by regularly participating in low-intensity cycling.

Get up and move your body like brisk walking or cycling to boost your energy levels.

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Listen To Upbeat Music

Listening to upbeat music can actually improve your mood. 

It's important not to overthink, "Am I happy yet?" while listening, and instead just allow yourself to enjoy the experie...

Get A Good Laugh

Laughter increases dopamine in our brains, which is a chemical that elevates mood. 

The next time you're in a bad mood, try pulling up some Amy Schumer or an SNL digital short on YouTube.

Walk Around The Block

Even mild exercise, about 40 percent of your max heart rate, can lift your mood.  Do activities that match your mood instead of trying to force yourself to do something you're just not feeling.

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Mental Health on the Rise

Mental health issues are on the rise globally, due to a complex life that has us pursue perfection in every aspect of our lives.

Cases of chronic depression and anxiety are normally treated u...

Exercise to treat Depression

Regular exercise can treat mild to moderate depression, as good as the antidepressants.

Exercise provides us with feel-good chemicals made naturally inside our body, as the brain releases endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin.

Exercising for Self-Esteem

Exercise also has a psychological benefit of making us feel great.

Using exercise as a social activity, we improve our self-esteem and get to meet new people, forming healthy and positive connections

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Coffee is better in group tasks
Coffee is better in group tasks

A recent study found that if you have coffee before a conversation, it will actually make you focus better and feel better about the people you are talking to.

The ideal time to drink coffee

If you want to maximize the benefits of caffeine, you should have your first cup about four hours after you wake up.

You are naturally alert when you wake up because your cortisol levels are high. So drinking caffeine first thing is just going to make the drop even harder a few hours later.

Coffee has the potential to extend your lifespan

According to studies, coffee drinkers have a slightly lower risk of death over 10 years (10 to 15%) than those who don't drink it regularly.

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