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Diet, Exercise & a Healthy Brain

The health of your brain is affected by the health of your body .The brain requires a good blood supply to provide the oxygen and nutrition it continually needs, so a healthy heart is very important. It is said ‘we are what we eat’ and so proper eating and exercise habits are also vital for maintaining your health and abilities as you age.

Key factors in maintaining our mental and physical function as we age are:

1. Daily physical daily within your capability.

A brisk 20 to 30 minute daily walk is great for the heart, body and mind. It improves your sense of well being and alertness, keeps our weight down and lowers your blood pressure. High blood pressure is an important cause of heart and stroke disease. Being overweight is also a risk factor for these and diabetes. Doing regular physical activity can make you feel good about yourself and it can have a number of benefits for your health.

For example, it reduces the risk of developing of Heart disease, Stroke, High blood pressure, some cancers, Type 2 diabetes and Osteoporosis. Regular physical activity also helps to control weight, and may help ease stress, anxiety, and depression. Ideally, you should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on at least five days of the week. You will also benefit from a minimum of two sessions of muscle-strengthening activities per week, although these should not be on consecutive days. (The latest research suggests that short bursts of exercise for 20-30 minutes for a total of 2.5 hours a week is excellent for the heart and circulation.)

2. A healthy diet.

A high salt and saturated fat diet is a key reason why heart and stroke disease is so common in our society. Hardened fats in biscuits and foods with a high sugar intake are also unhealthy. You should aim to increase your intake of fruit and vegetables (at least 5 portions per day), lower the amount of salt you take (no added salt). Taking red meat just twice a week and increase pulses is also advisable i.e. peas, beans including soya, lentils. The carbohydrate you eat should be the complex kind (porridge rather than breakfast cereals).

Try the following: reduce sugary snacks such as biscuits and chocolate, take porridge for breakfast, take more fish and chicken and reduce the amount of red meat, put away the salt cellar at the table, drink alcohol in moderation.

3. Avoid social isolation.

Social isolation increases the risk and severity of poor physical and mental health. Work at friendships, keep up to date with current affairs, take trips out to meet people.

4. Naps

A regular 20-30minute nap during the day is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your brain!

If you want to read more about these matters you select from this online information:

Physical activity

A healthy diet

Avoiding social isolation

Avoiding social isolation