5 Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy

Brain function

Brain function and brain health has become a popular subject in the last decade.  This is likely due to the noticeable rise in neurodegenerative disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s.   As such, people’s interest in taking control of their cognitive health has also increased.

Brain health has also become a widely popular topic in the world of sports and recreation. Since concussions are now recognized to have significant short and long term impact on injured players.

The fact is, unless you have neurodegenerative disorders in your family or have experienced a head injury, you probably won’t start thinking about your brain’s health until you start noticing symptoms such as;

Here’s the thing, the longer you wait to take action, the worse the problem can become.

You really should start thinking about your brain’s health today!  Look at taking preventative measures rather than waiting for signs of cognitive decline to appear.

So, how exactly do you keep your brain healthy? There are many simple ways to improve brain function and keep your mind sharp. Some of which you may already be doing!

Ways To Keep Your Brain Healthy

5 Tips To Help Keep Your Brain Function In Tip-Top Shape

1. Exercise Daily

Exercise has a whole host of benefits for your mental and physical health. Endorphins released during exercise work wonders warding off depression and bolstering the immune system.

Physical fitness also has been shown to increase mental sharpness as people age. Especially past the age of 40. Daily exercise helps maintain acuity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is responsible for judgement and decision making.

2. Try To Go Keto!

Yes, the foods we eat do have an impact on our mental and cognitive health. Research shows that consuming a diet high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates (known as a ketogenic diet) helps promote brain health by pushing your body into a fat-burning state, creating what we call ketones as a by-product.

Ketones are a very efficient and sustainable source of fuel for the body and the brain. Burning mainly sugar (carbs) as fuel creates inflammation in the body and the brain while ketones are said to be a much “cleaner” fuel. A keto-adapted individual will experience less brain fog, less memory trouble and better focus.

Click here to read, “Keto For Dummies – Beginners Guide For Keto”.

3. Get Enough Sleep

The fog of exhaustion will cloud your mental ability. Our brains store daily memories while we sleep. You need rest in order to remember even mundane details of daily life. You might even consider taking a short nap after learning something new or important, to help store it in your long-term memory.

Sleeping less than six hours a night has been shown to decrease mental sharpness even after one night. I am sure if you have young kids, you know exactly what I am talking about. What’s more, good quality sleep has also been shown to help the brain detoxify, which is crucial for keeping the brain healthy and sharp.

4. Flex Your Mental Muscles

You can improve your logic, problem solving, mental orientation and corrective thought process by working on puzzles and doing difficult mental tasks. For instance, start doing crossword puzzles. Studies show that older people who do crossword puzzles have better scores on a variety of cognitive tests than those who don’t.

To be fair, researchers aren’t sure if the puzzles cause better mental ability or if people with better mental ability tend to do more crossword puzzles. Nonetheless it can’t hurt to try! Don’t like puzzles? Try memorizing your friends’ and family’s phone numbers and birthdays.

5. Express Yourself Creatively

Creativity has more than one advantage when it comes to keeping your mind sharp and keeping a positive attitude. Creativity forces you to think and flex your mental muscles!  The results of creative work have been shown to reinforce self-confidence and help individuals enjoy their daily life. Try your hand at;

  • Writing poetry
  • Sewing
  • Taking up a musical instrument
  • Gardening
  • Painting

If you don’t feel artistic or creative, baking or writing in a journal are other great ways to express yourself. Try applying creative approaches to daily tasks like shopping on a budget or creating a new recipe with limited ingredients. Keep a good attitude about your ability to find solutions in everyday situations.

Your brain is an extraordinary machine, and although there is still a great deal we do not know about it, it doesn’t stop us from wanting to expand its capabilities. Don’t blame age for declining cognitive abilities. Instead, test out some of the methods listed above and keep your brain sharp!

When you hear “retirement strategy”, what do you think about?

retirement strategy

I’ll bet you think about some sort of financial strategy that you either are using, paying attention to, focusing on, or thinking about in order to be able to retire with enough money/financial resources to live out the remainder of your life.

I’ll bet that you, or someone in your family, has spent time, energy, and money, learning about and consulting with people who give advice on retirement strategies.

The concept is always the same: “How do I ensure that the efforts that I make NOW can positively affect me in the future.” 

It’s interesting to me that this seems to be universally important for people. In fact, we have an entire industry focused on this topic. You see books about it, commercials for it, advertising in print, articles online, blogs and even podcasts on the topic of preparing for retirement.

Here’s the thing: when I think of retirement strategy, I think of having ALL of the resources that I’ll need, not just money. In fact, I think that there is one resource that I’ll need when I retire that is more important than money – MY HEALTH

What good is having early retirement with sufficient money if you don’t have your health?

I have met hundreds of patients over the years that had the financial resources to live when they retired, but were near bankruptcy when it came to their health. It’s almost like people just assume that health will still be there without effort.  Not true!

If you want to still have your health 10, 20, even 40 years from now, what would you have to do NOW?

What type of INVESTMENT would you need to make NOW? 

What specialist would you need to consult with, hire, and learn from in order to have health in the future?

What would you need to prioritize today in order to have what you want decades from now?  When is a good time to start investing in your health?  At what point would it be too early to stop investing in your health?

As a chiropractor, I can share that getting adjusted regularly lays the foundation for your body to be able to FUNCTION (work properly), DEVELOP (make new healthy cells after stressful times in your life), and HEAL (overcome damage from stressors in your life) as efficiently as possible.

If your body can to that (function, heal and recreate new cells properly) you lay the foundation for the kind of health that you want to have in the future.

Eating well, exercising, thinking positively, growing yourself spiritually, etc are all things that you can do to INVEST in your health. You can do any (or all) of these things starting TODAY!

Or you could do the latter. 

You could be like the person that NEVER saved a penny their whole life, and then ended up in financial crisis. This is the same as the person who never invests into their health, and then loses all of their money trying to recover it in the future.

There is a recent example of a patient that I saw this week. Over the last 10 years, Jerry has started and stopped chiropractic care 6 times. Every time he restarted, he was in crisis and needed extra care to recover back to functional levels.  In that time, because he was inconsistent, his health status has gone up and down like a yo-yo. Not OK! 

If he just stayed consistent, we calculated that he would have had 25% fewer adjustments in that time (saving him about $3,600) and his health would have been consistently better. In that scenario, had he been more consistent, his future health prognosis would have been much higher too.

What’s the bottom line? Just like financial investing, if you want your “health account” to be full in the future, keep consistently investing in your health now.

You, and your family, are worth it.

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Guest Blog by Dr. Ryan French

Dr. Ryan FrenchDr. Ryan French is a family chiropractor practicing in Bolton, Ontario. Together with his team of incredible support staff and associate doctors, he has built the largest family chiropractic practice in the area.  He is a health coach, mentor, teacher, and writer.

He is blessed with an incredible family, including loving wife Suzanne, and 4 beautiful children, Jessica, Jackson, Jordyn and Jacob.

Dr. Ryan received his doctorate from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto.  His other academic accomplishments include a Degree in Kinesiology from McMaster University in Hamilton, a post-doctorate fellowship in pregnancy and pediatric care rendering him the title FICPA (Fellow of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association), certification in The Webster In-Utero Constraint Technique (better known as the breech-turning technique), certification to practice Clinical Acupuncture, and many other courses in nutrition, exercise, and preventive health care.

His hobbies include coaching, hockey, fishing, golf, and never-ending learning!

He offers one-on-one mentoring to other chiropractors to help them grow and achieve more.  If interested in more information, send an email to [email protected]

He can be reached at Inside Out Family Chiropractic, 27 King Street East, Bolton, Ontario. OFFICE PHONE: 905-951-9911.
WEB: www.insideoutchiro.org
EMAIL: [email protected]
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/DrRyanFrench
TWITTER @DrRyanFrench