As you develop your New Year’s Resolutions, make sure you are also making your mental health a priority. Weight loss and physical goals always seem to be at the forefront this time of year, but remember, you can’t achieve those goals without taking care of your mind first. Even with the most mundane of tasks and functions, our brain health greatly affects how well these tasks are performed. When you have a sharp mind, all other aspects of your daily life become better executed resulting in a healthier, more well-balanced you.
The human brain is like a roadmap full of nerve and vessel pathways that control our minds and bodies. As we age some of those “roads” can become obstructed or even completely blocked affecting our memory, reasoning, processing time, and even our physical functioning. The hard reality is that some of these changes are inevitable as time goes on, but if we do our best to promote a healthy mind and brain, we can prevent and delay the onset of these symptoms.
One study has shown improvements in the activities of daily living for older adults who were engaging in cognitive training. The participants were tested on their ability to multi-task and their memory skills repeatedly, resulting in increased cognitive functioning and in turn, promoted improvements in their daily living functions.
Many of these professional cognitive tests come in the form of a computer software program, but other mind stimulating activities could include playing a musical instrument, learning a new language, completing crossword puzzles, or playing “brain training” games or apps.
In this busy day and age that we live in, it is not always reasonable for us to take the time to sit down and complete a puzzle, so we need to make sure we are taking other steps to maintain our healthy minds. Evidence has shown that a healthy Mediterranean style diet that is low in processed and refined sugars and high in Vitamin B12 and Omega 3’s, especially when fish is consumed, promotes a healthier and younger brain. Additionally, aerobic exercise, has shown to reduce the risk of dementia in older adults.
All of these methods are examples of how we can exercise and maintain our minds. These activities help promote healthy brains, and in some cases, can even build new connections in our brain roadmap. The best part is, as these measures boost our cognitive functioning, our physical and daily living activity performance enhances as well, keeping our mind and body operating in tip top shape.
So eliminate brain “roadblocks” by engaging in simple cognitive exercises and by eating a nutritious diet.
When you are proactive about your mind health,
your physical functions will reap the benefits as well!