Brain Health Five steps to prevent mild cognitive decline

By Humber River Hospital

How exactly does one maintain optimal brain health and why is it important? As the body ages, our mental capabilities decline, causing mild memory loss and reduced mental performance. This is often referred to as mild cognitive impairment (MCI).  However, research suggests that a healthy lifestyle can have a significant effect on preventing age-related cognitive decline.

Listed below are five lifestyle recommendations that will help improve health and prevent MCI:

Games Challenging the mind and maintaining a stimulating environment is a wonderful way to improve brain health. Try solving puzzles and crosswords or reading a book to keep your mind alert and sharp.

Exercise Physical exercise is another important aspect of brain health. It doesn’t only keep the body in shape but the mind too. By increasing blood flow and stimulating new neuron growth, the chances of developing MCI decreases.

Good food A balanced diet can have a major influence on every aspect of personal health. For example, eating fresh, natural produce and staying away from high levels of processed sugar is ideal. Even more, incorporating foods rich in antioxidants might delay age-related brain damage.

Rest During a good night’s rest, the body is actively repairing the damage caused by daily life. Without a proper nights sleep, it is believed brain data can be disrupted, which can lead to forgetfulness and overall memory loss in elders.

Regular health checks “There are numerous conditions that can affect brain health, including heart disease and high blood pressure,” says Dr. Baker, Geriatrician at Humber River Hospital. “Getting regular health checks can help identify problems before they start.”

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