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Ten Tips for a Healthy Brain

Learning new information and skills during your life helps keep your brain healthy and strong. Learning new things will ensure your brain is always expanding and staying sharp!

According to the U.S. Department of Health, an estimated 5 million people have Alzheimer’s disease or suffer from dementia today.  By 2050, a projected 16 million people will have these diseases.

One of the best ways to prevent memory loss is to keep an active mind and learn new information. Here are some easy ways to promote ongoing mental acuity and maintain brain health, even in your senior years:

1. Engage Yourself with Complex Activities: Activities such as crosswords, jigsaw or math puzzles helps keep the brain sharp.

2. Exercise Regularly: Exercise has a great effect of enhancing successful aging. Exercise performed regularly may not only reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disease, but also may help to slow the course of Alzheimer's disese. In addition, exercise reduce the risk of depression and anxiety.

3. Socialize and Have Fun: Being with friends and family provides opportunities for new learning, challenges, expressing emotions and engaging in new activities. New pursuits with friends often helps develop new life roles, which provides more opportunities to enjoy life, laugh, and have fun.  Participation in sports, church, and other groups and organizations are great places to develop relationships with other people.

4. Be Health Conscious: It is important to take control of our health and understand that you are in charge of managing of your bodies.  Physicians work for us and it is important to maintain a close and trusting relationship with your doctor.  To keep yourself at your healthiest, maintain regular physical examinations, and follow your physician's advice.

5. Take a break and Appreciate the Silence: Our society is evolving at an increasing rate, leaving us with little time to relax. Our brains require time to process information more deeply, in order to gain more benefit from our daily experiences. The impacts of a fast-paced lifestyle can cause stress and other negative effects on our health.

6. Do Not Retire from Life: Staying actively involved in a daily routine is beneficial to your lifelong health and well being. It is important to develop multiple skills and interests over your lifespan, as we have the ability to learn and develop new talents continually over time. In addition, work can be a necessary activity to help us find more meaning in our lives.

7. Eliminate Smoking, Drinking and Drugs: Substances such as drugs and cigarettes, can decrease our functioning ability, lower our motivation, and impair our cognitive processes. Smoking is one of the leading causes of over a dozen cancers, including lung, oral, stomach, and liver cancer.

8. Set Financial Goals: Keeping track of your expenses, and being aware of where your money helps you feel more in control of your financial situation.

9. Adopt a Nutrient-Rich Diet: Foods that includes Omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, flax seed, and nuts are very good for brain health. Foods with naturally occurring Vitamin E and Vitamin C have an antioxidant effect. Vitamin C foods such as oranges, strawberries, fresh herbs and broccoli; and examples of Vitamin E includes almonds, peanuts and asparagus to name a few. Folate (B9) may also help to reduce the risk of some neurodegenerative illnesses and developmental disorders. Examples of folate foods include beans, lentils, whole grains and poultry.

10. Maintain Strong Connections: Research confirms the importance of a social network reduces the risk of dementia. By staying intellectually, physically, socially and creatively engaged, you not only create a well-rounded lifestyle, you will keep each part of your brain active! 

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