We are always told to eat healthy, exercise, sleep a full 8 hours a night (even though that rarely seems to be possible), drink plenty of water, and to have a positive outlook on life. I never thought there was any real reason for these tips, aside from just living a healthy lifestyle. However, as it turns out, following all these tips -- plus a handful of other easy activities -- actually preserves, protects, and improves brain function!
Who knew that exercising is linked with improvements in memory and learning? Or that learning new things, like how to play a musical instrument, how to cook a new dish, or simply staying informed about what is going on in the world encourages brain growth? The mind should always be stimulated, and this can be done through doing crosswords and sudoku puzzles, reading books, going to museums, traveling, doing crafts, and even dancing!
As far as the whole “8 hours of sleep each night” situation goes-- even though school assignments or busy social lives may interfere with our sleep -- it’s absolutely necessary that we get enough rest. Naps count too! The information we learn during the day is consolidated while we sleep, preparing our brain for future tasks.
How many times can it be said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? The reason this is drilled into our heads so often is because breakfast improves the abilities of concentration, reaction time, learning ability, mood, and memory. If breakfast is skipped, performance at school and at work is reduced. In addition to breakfast, there are other “brain foods” that boost brain activity and power. Foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, walnuts, tofu, scallops, tuna, and mustard seeds, to name a few), as well as fruits and vegetables, keep the brain young and healthy.
Laughter is the best medicine! It’s true—by having fun and laughing, stress levels are significantly lowered. Being able to manage our stress and remain positive whenever we can keeps our brain growing everyday, giving us more capacity for information and memories.
Improving brain function and power is easy! Try partaking in some “neurobics” like getting dressed with your eyes closed, brushing your teeth with your other hand, or driving to work or school on a different route. It’s been proven that simple changes such as these can stimulate different areas of our brain that are not normally used!
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Marissa Sudol.