Lois Moncel, Director of Fitness & Wellness
Are you taking steps to improve your cognitive health? The health of your brain may be affected by age-related changes to the brain, injuries, depression, substance use disorders, and diseases like Alzheimer’s. Some factors cannot be changed, but did you know that making small changes to your lifestyle could help improve your cognitive thinking, i.e., how well you think, learn, and remember? Cognitive health is one component of brain health, and making small changes in your everyday activities can really make a difference.
As noted by the National Institute on Aging, “In one study, exercise stimulated the human brain’s ability to maintain old network connections and make new ones that are vital to cognitive health. Other studies have shown that exercise increases the size of a brain structure important to memory and learning, resulting in better spatial memory. Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, is thought to be more beneficial to cognitive health than nonaerobic stretching and toning exercise.”
Research shows that a combination of these healthy lifestyle behaviors may help you function better and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Does your lifestyle include the following?
* Taking care of your physical health
* Managing high blood pressure
* Eating healthy foods
* Being physically active
* Keeping your mind active
* Staying connected with social activities
* Managing your stress
So, take a moment and evaluate your daily life habits. Could you make improvements? For more information on cognitive health, check out this link for the National Institute on Aging: www.nia.nih.gov/health/cognitive-health-and-older-adults.