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It is actually quite amazing that the activities that support a healthy body are also the same activities that support a healthy mind and brain. It may not sound like much but as our bodies’ age, it doesn’t function at full capacity as when we were in our early 20’s. The same goes for our brain. Over time our brain function and cognitive ability declines. But there is hope. You don’t have to succumb to an aging body and mind laying down. The following tips will help you stave off the effects of aging on your body and brain and simple enough – they can be performed on a daily basis and not require expensive methods or services to fulfill.
Tip #1: Eat healthy
According to Dr. Gary Small, Director of the UCLA Memory Clinic, there are superfoods that are rich in antioxidants that help fight against free radicals which age the body and brain. Look to consume colorful foods such as fruits and vegetables daily. Complex carbs also help keep your body fit and stomach full so you can think more clearly vs. focus on being hungry.
Omega-3 fatty acids also help keep the body and mind healthy. You can find foods rich in Omega-3’s in fish such as salmon or you can take a supplement in pill or liquid form. Studies have shown those who had low levels of Omega-3’s had brains that appeared 2 years older in MRI scans. Not good.
There’s a book out called “The Memory Prescription” which claims to work in only 2 weeks. It’s basically the Mediterranean Diet as it promotes high consumption of legumes, fresh produce, nuts and fish. It’s very low in meat such as beef since meat’s Omega-6 fatty acids may contribute to inflammation. You only eat meat once a week. This “diet” is also low in foods with refined sugars and simple carbs since they also contribute to inflammation.
This book also advises taking 1, 2.4 mg of B12 vitamin daily along with 1,000 international units of vitamin D.
Tip #2: Sleep more
This is one area I am certain many people are lacking. With all of the activities we participate in or our children, along with watching late-night movies or television, many of us probably may not get 5 hours of sound sleep a night. This can greatly impair your ability to lose weight and your memory. Studies have shown losing half a night’s rest can make it difficult for your body to perform at its best and can erode brain memory. So one way to improve decline in aging is to improve the length of time you’re sleeping as well as the quality of it. It’s recommended to get 7 to 8 hours of sound sleep nightly.
So turn that television off, head to bed, put a few drops of soothing lavender essential oil on your pillow, put earmuffs on if your significant other snores and get in those Z’s. Do this for a month and I am certain your body will feel strong and you will be able to think more clearly and remember more things.
Tip #3: Exercise often
Now you know I was going to get here eventually. Exercise TRULY is the fountain of youth. Researchers from the University of California at Irvine recently discovered that moderate daily exercise not only improved body function but had big mental benefits too. Exercise releases a chemical in the brain called norepinephrine which has a strong influence on memory and endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in your body and attitude. Basically exercise helps you remember things and makes you feel good about yourself.
Did you know exercise not only improves muscle strength and endurance but can increase your brain size? A bigger brain means a greater capacity to remember. WIN! I recommend 1 hour a day of moderate exercise but you can see positive effects from exercise with as little as 20 minutes of brisk walking (so that means walking hills at a quick pace, swinging those arms or taking it to the treadmill or other cardio machine which gets your heart rate up). Exercise also helps with stress levels which can manifest itself not only in high blood pressure but carrying excess fat around the waist due to excess production of cortisol.
Alright, so now you have the top 3 tips to help you achieve the ultimate fit body and mind which are eat healthy, get more sleep and exercise often. Apply these techniques consistently and in just 30 days I am certain you will see and feel a difference.
Which of these methods do you plan to incorporate into your daily living to improve your body and brain healthy?
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