Protecting Your Brain Starts with Your Heart

Preventable disease, such as heart disease and stroke, can have detrimental implications for your brain heath. In fact, the health of your brain is directly connected to your heart.

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, a global movement to encourage individuals to take the steps necessary to combat preventable diseases and further preserve the health of their brains. How you can keep your brain healthy?

Get Moving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lack of physical activity can lead to high blood pressure and obesity. Most Americans don’t meet the guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. That’s a little more than 20 minutes a day. Take the stairs, commit to a daily walk or start attending a group fitness class.

Take Control. Keep your blood sugar and pressure in check. Diabetes is an important risk factor for dementia as spikes in blood sugar can damage blood vessels. Overtime, high blood pressure has been proven to increase the risk of cognitive decline.

Don’t Smoke. The damage to blood vessels can cause blood to clot more easily and limit proper blood and oxygen flow to the brain.

Eat Clean. The majority of your diet should consist of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy and foods high in protein but low in fat. Limit foods with added sugars, high amounts of sodium and saturated fats.

Keep Thinking. Mental simulation can help encourage your brain to generate new cells, which can build up a reserve that combats future cell loss. Reading, continued learning, painting and puzzles are great ways to flex your brain.