August is our Brain Fitness Month. Brain Fitness (or brain health) refers to the ability to remember, learn, plan, concentrate and maintain a clear, and active mind. As we age, it is normal to experience some changes in mental function. The brain needs regular exercise just like the muscles in your body.
Here are some tips to keep that great big beautiful brain of yours in its best shape of your life at any age.
- Read. The practice of reading stimulates different parts of your brain and increases cognitive awareness. Trouble with vision? Listening to audio books can also improve your brain function!
- Learn something new. Your brain is stimulated when you expose yourself to new ideas. Become a learner and you will see improved imagination and an awareness to new things.
- Change your routine to avoid acting on “auto-pilot”. Take a different route to the grocery store, discover new walking paths, get out of your morning routine and explore different types of activities.
- Play. Do puzzles, play with your grandchildren, learn a new board game, paint or join a club. The benefits of play include mind stimulation, increased creativity, reduced stress and improved focus.
- Exercise. Physical activity is great for your brain. Try incorporating daily walks into your routine. Walking has been shown to improve cognitive function, releases endorphins, releases proteins in the brain, reduce mental and physical fatigue, strengthen the hippocampus, increase blood flow and boost creativity.
- Eat food your brain loves. Eat more foods your brain craves for optimal functioning. Your brain loves: leafy greens, oily fish, berries, nuts and seeds, whole grains, avocados and broccoli.