Written by Frances Smith, patient access specialist
Your brain is the powerhouse of your body that controls every aspect of your life. It’s easy to forget just how much we depend on the brain to be healthy and functional until it’s not operating at its best. In honor of Brain Awareness Month, I want to emphasize the importance of maintaining and strengthening cognitive function through caring for your overall well-being. What does that look like? In this blog, we’ll explore three of the top ways to achieve optimal brain health. Even if you receive medical infusion therapies to manage your brain health or neurological condition such as multiple sclerosis or myasthenia gravis, these are simple but effective practices you can layer into your lifestyle to further support your brain’s vitality and unlock its full potential.
1. Engage in Regular Physical Exercise
The best way to improve one part of your well-being is to care for your whole self. Improving your brain health is no different. While genetics and age play a role in brain health, there are lifestyle choices you can make to support and enhance your cognitive function. Engaging in regular physical exercise is the best way to support brain health, such as:
- Running or jogging
- Martial arts
- Strength training
- HIIT (high-intensity interval training)
- Brisk walking
- Jump rope
- Tai Chi
All the activities mentioned above increase blood flow to the brain, delivering vital oxygen and nutrients. This is important because a boost in blood circulation promotes the growth of new neurons, enhances memory, and improves cognitive function. It’s best to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise every week (which is subject to your fitness level and age) to reap the cognitive benefits and keep your brain in shape.
2. Create a Brain-Boosting Diet
What you eat can significantly impact your brain health. It’s best to opt for a balanced diet that includes brain health foods, such as the following:
- Whole foods: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
- Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids: fatty fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds which support brain health and improve cognitive function.
- Antioxidant-rich foods: berries, dark chocolate, and green leafy vegetables to protect against oxidative stress.
- Stay hydrated and limit the consumption of processed foods and sugary drinks, as they can have negative effects on brain health and slow you down overall.
Incorporating brain health foods into a well-balanced diet can provide the necessary nutrients and antioxidants to support brain health and cognitive function. Remember that a varied and diverse diet is key to obtaining a wide range of beneficial nutrients.
3. Prioritize Mental Stimulation
Just as physical exercise is vital for your body, mental exercise is crucial for your brain. Stimulating your brain through various activities helps maintain cognitive function and promotes neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to adapt and form new connections. Engage in activities that challenge your brain such as:
- Learning a musical instrument
- Playing strategy games
- Learning a new language
- Taking a dance class
- Practicing mindfulness
- Taking a new route to work or somewhere you frequent often
- Taking up a new hobby
- Teaching something new to someone else
Continuous mental stimulation enhances memory, attention, and critical thinking skills, keeping your brain sharp and agile.
Achieving Optimal Brain Health
Achieving optimal brain health requires a holistic whole-person approach, similar to the 8 dimensions of wellness. By incorporating regular physical exercise, adopting a brain-boosting diet, and prioritizing mental stimulation, you can support your brain’s vitality and cognitive function. Remember, small lifestyle changes can make a significant impact on brain health in the long run. Start implementing these practices today and enjoy the benefits of a healthy and thriving brain. Which of the activities or foods listed above will you add to your lifestyle to help increase your brain’s overall well-being?
If you interested in learning more about the IV treatments we offer for neurological conditions, you can contact us by calling us at (833) 394-0600 or filling out our online form.