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Ten Small Steps to a Brilliant Brain

June is "Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month" . . . so let's get busy.

One of my biggest fears is losing my mind or my memory . . . or both. So, I keep up on the latest research on ways to keep my brain strong, sharp and brilliant.

There’s so much we know about how our brains function compared to even a few years ago. But, that doesn’t make them any less complicated. Our brains have a huge job to do with lots of responsibilities. Here are just a few of the things your brain is doing for you right now:

  • Regulating your temperature, breathing, and heart rate
  • Coordinating your movement and balance
  • Recording, processing, and interpreting sensory information about your environment — and your own body
  • Allowing you to think, reason, imagine, dream, and experience emotions
  • Cataloging storing, and retrieving information and memories
  • Giving you the ability to speak, read, write, and understand languages

It turns out there’s a lot we can do to keep our brains working at full capacity, and one simple rule stands out: What’s good for your heart is good for your bones, is good for your weight, is good for your mood, is good for your libido, is good for your overall health . . . and is really great for your brain.

Instead of easing off the weights as you age . . . Bump up your strength training.

A recent study found that women who worked out with weights twice a week had less brain shrinkage than those who trained only once a week or did only stretching exercises. Another study says that middle-aged adults who stay in good shape can cut their dementia risk by 40 percent.

Here are ten small science-backed steps to a brilliant brain:

  1. Keep working or volunteering, and stay engaged with the world.
  2. See friends and family often.
  3. Read as much as possible, including books that challenge your vocabulary or way of thinking.
  4. Try new activities, especially those that require learning new physical or mental skills.
  5. Eat brain-healthy foods, including vegetables, nuts, fish, and olive oil.
  6. Be careful about which medications you take — and reduce or eliminate your use of sleeping pills.
  7. Reduce stress through mindfulness exercises, organizational habits, and a commitment to positive thinking.
  8. Move your body every day.

BONUS TIP FOR A BRILLIANT BRAIN: DON’T SMOKE!

Get more tips on living better, longer, happier from my new book — Love Your Age!

Originally published at www.barbarahannahgrufferman.com

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