When we think about healthy habits, the first thing that comes to mind is keeping our body healthy. However, keeping your brain healthy is just as important as keeping your body healthy. I’ve found some of the best ways we can keep our brains healthy every day. If you start to incorporate some of these habits into your daily routine, you will see how much better you feel every day.
- Stay Active
Increasing your heart rate allows oxygen to pump to your brain faster, helping new brain cells to develop quicker. A daily habit of exercise makes your brain more efficient and strengthens your ability to concentrate. I walk my dog every morning, and also try to add in an additional 30 minutes of heart pumping cardio 4-5 days a week.
- Vary Your Routine
When you allow yourself to mix up your routine a little bit, it provides a good cognitive tool for your brain to function better. For example, take a different route to work or go to the gym before work instead of after work.
- Celebrate Accomplishments Daily
As you make progress toward completion of your goals or tasks, allow yourself to celebrate (at least a little). Even perceived progress provides excitement, happiness, and motivation. Start this habit every morning to help you feel successful before your day really gets going. Congratulate yourself on hitting the gym the previous day, finishing a book, or saving a few dollars by bringing your lunch to work.
- Stretch Your Brain Muscles
Keep your brain stimulated every day by learning something new. You can read the news, learn a foreign language, play an instrument, learn a sport or new workout, brainstorm, or even do something creative.
On the other side of stimulating your brain, is resting your brain. Work, life, and stress are hard on your brain. Try meditating for just 5 minutes a day.
- Get Good Sleep
As I mentioned in my post on “nightly rituals,” sleep is an important part of keeping your mind healthy because sleep ‘cleans the brain’. Create rituals before you go to bed like putting away your phone to ensure your sleep is uninterrupted.
- Stand Tall and Be Confident
Your brain often perceives success and hopefulness from how you carry yourself. If you can feel powerful in your body and mind, it will engage and stimulate your brain.
- Eat Healthy
The food we eat every day can improve how our brain functions. Foods with antioxidants or healthy fats are the best. Try to eat blueberries, kale, nuts, whole grains, and fish every day.
It’s so important to keep your brain healthy as we age. It helps prevent disease, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Practice new habits to incorporate into your daily routine.
The more you do these things, the easier they will become, making these daily habits the best gift you can give yourself. It can take willpower and resistance, but remember that the efforts your are making now will pay off in the end. New healthy habits will keep your body and mind ready for whatever the future holds.