Think about it. Your lifestyle decisions can have an impact on your overall health, but they can also affect the health of your brain as you get older.

As prevailing rates of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias increase, research has shifted from treatment to prevention. Prevention not only focuses on the health of your brain but the health of your body as well. Here are some basic tips to follow in order to keep your brain sharp:

  • Exercise regularly

    One of the most important ways to maintain your health is 30 minutes of exercise five times a week. Both your body and your brain benefit from routine exercise. Go for a walk, join a strength or aerobics class or fit exercise into your daily chores. Whatever it is, stay active and make a schedule with time for a workout.
  • Eat healthy

    In addition to plenty of fruits and vegetables with a wide range of colors in your diet, try including omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel and sardines. Other "brain foods" include whole grains, nuts, white and green tea, olive oil and fresh produce.
  • Stimulate your brain

    In order to keep your brain at its best, you need to use it. There are plenty of simple ways to include brain activities into your daily schedule. Try to learn or memorize something new. Read books, work on a puzzle or brain teaser that requires some strategy or play a board game. Get away from the computer or television screen and challenge yourself. Your brain will thank you.
  • Sleep

    One of the easiest ways to keep your brain healthy is sleep. Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Not getting enough can affect your mood, your ability to think and process information, and your general health. Give yourself a bedtime that allows you to get the sleep you need.
  • Avoid stress

    It's challenging to steer clear of the things that cause stress in your life. But you can take action to reduce and relieve your stress if you are unable to avoid the high-pressure, aggravating situations each day brings. Make time for yourself in a calm, quiet setting, even if it's only for a few minutes. Get away from the chaos and pressure. Relax and focus on something positive and encouraging. Give your brain a break.

If you focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, your brain will benefit as well. You don't have to think hard about how you can prevent dementia. All it takes is an active, healthy approach each day.

Stay smart and sharp!

Your brain health doesn't have to decline as you get older. From screenings and checkups to helpful tips on exercise and eating right, make us your partner for good brain health.

To find a doctor or speak to a nurse, call Consult-A-Nurse® at (951) 788-3463, 24 hours a day.