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Simple Steps to Cognitive Health


Simple Steps to Cognitive Health

There are many steps to improve your cognitive health. The important question is how do you keep your brain healthy, and build cognitive reserve? For some people, it is easier than others. Although genetics has set the stage for your brain health, you can do something to improve your cognitive fitness.

Cognitive health is the ability to clearly think, learn, and remember. The following is a simple guideline on what you can do to keep your cognitive function at its best.

In order to give your brain a full workout, you need to engage both hemispheres of the cerebrum, and both hemispheres of the cerebellum. This can be done by practicing, exploring, and learning new things.  Brain health does not come about while being sedentary in front of a flat screen in a cyber reality.

The first thing to remember that in order to have a healthy brain, you need a healthy body.  Therefore, ensuring your brain health depends upon regularly seeing your doctor, following her or his recommendations, and managing any health conditions you have.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have identified six foundations to any effective brain health and cognitive fitness program. Though they are referred to as "steps," they should all be done together rather than sequentially:

  • Step 1: Eat a plant-based diet
  • Step 2: Exercise regularly
  • Step 3: Get enough sleep
  • Step 4: Manage your stress
  • Step 5: Nurture social contacts
  • Step 6: Continue to challenge your brain
When practiced together, these can yield real results which can lead to changes in both your brain's structure and function. But the key word is "together." These steps are equal parts of a cohesive plan and they don't work in isolation. Simply doing one without the other isn't enough to forestall mental decline. Instead, exercise, diet, sleep, stress management, social interaction, and mental stimulation work cohesively to yield results.

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