Every action we take, from communication to making decisions or characterizing our personality, is linked to brain health.
According to the World Federation of Neurologists (WFN), brain diseases such as dementia and stroke are the second leading cause of death worldwide.
“Taking care of our brain health is essential to maintaining an optimal quality of life as we age. Getting used to a healthy lifestyle from childhood and taking preventive measures can reduce the risk of cerebrovascular disease and promote healthy brain aging.”, emphasizes Dr. Virginia Pujol Lereys, a specialist in neurology.
To keep your brain healthy, Dr. Pujol Lereys shares some secrets to keep in mind:
- Stick to a balanced diet: include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats such as those found in fish and nuts. Limit your intake of saturated fats, processed foods, and refined sugars.
- maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke. Maintaining a proper weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can greatly reduce this risk.
- Control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels: Get regular medical checkups and follow your doctor’s instructions to keep these values under control within your individual goals.
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol abuse: Smoking and excessive drinking are recognized risk factors for brain health.
- Exercise regularly: not only improves the cardiovascular system, but also benefits the brain. It is recommended that you do aerobic exercise such as walking, running or swimming for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
- Improve nighttime rest and control stress: Adequate sleep is vital for optimal brain function. It is advisable to look for tools to manage stress, such as by practicing relaxation techniques, meditation, or activities that are enjoyable.
- keep your mind active: It may help strengthen brain connections and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. It is important to stimulate the brain by engaging in intellectual and challenging activities. Examples of this are reading books, solving puzzles, learning a new language, or playing a musical instrument.
- Communicate regularly: social isolation is associated with an increased risk of dementia. We must foster meaningful social connections with friends, family, and community. To do this, it is proposed to participate in social activities, join interest groups or engage in volunteer activities.
It is extremely important to maintain cognitive functions through actions that challenge what is already known: “It could be learning a language, doing physical exercises that help us with coordination and balance, like dancing, and even changing routines, like brushing your teeth with an unskilled hand. Anything that is challenging will be a great stimulus to maintain cognitive function.” concludes Dr Pujol Lereis.