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April 16, 2023 3 min read

As part of our ongoing effort to address health and wellness with a whole body-mind-soul approach, we thought it’s a good time to show some love to one of the most magnificent and marvelous portions of the human body: our brain!

While we’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on our physical form – keeping our hearts healthy, our waists whittled, and our boobies examined – we can’t forget to do some regular and routine maintenance to our central command center. We’ve rooted around through a series of different sources and compiled a handful of ways we can help keep our thinkers working well.

1. EAT YOURSELF SMART.

It’s a simple concept, but it applies to so many things: put good in, get good out. If you want your brain to function like a well-oiled machine, it’s important to make sure you’re oiling it with the right brain food. Omega-3s are awesome, which you can get from eating fatty fish like salmon, cod, and light tuna; if seafood isn’t your thing, you can get it naturally (terrestrial omega-3) from flaxseed, avocados, and walnuts. You might also consider adding an Omega-3 supplement to your vitamin routine. The Mayo Clinic suggests considering a Mediterranean-style diet which is heavy on whole grains and healthy fats, and is much lower in red meat and salt than the average American diet.

2. FLEX YOUR CORTEX.

Ok, this one may sound like a no-brainer (pun intended), but there have been developments and discoveries that challenge what we might’ve accepted as key activities to keeping your brain sharp. Turns out, crosswords alone aren’t going to cut it. Much like only working out one muscle group, doing the same repetitive brain activity is only going to strengthen that particular portion of your brain function. Try expanding your brain exercises to challenge different skill sets.

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT:

· The Center for BrainHealth at UT Dallas has developed the “Brain Performance Challenge” app; a fun, comprehensive app for assessing where your brain is now and tracking progress as you improve your cognitive function.

· Other apps like Elevate, Lumosity, and Impulse curate a personalized series of quick daily “workouts” that each target different skill sets, like adjective recall, percentages, speed-reading comprehension, even identifying proper pronunciation of commonly mispronounced words.

· You can also flex your mental muscles by learning new skills, trades, or languages through resources like MasterClass or DuoLingo.

3. GET SOCIAL.

Yes, you need to strengthen your brain through good old-fashioned academics, but it’s also important to cultivate the part of your mind that oversees human interaction. Start a book club, sign up for volunteer opportunities, set a monthly lunch bunch or coffee group, or better yet, go for a walk with your gals! Interpersonal engagement is key not only to cognition, but your overall mental health.

4. GET TO THE HEART OF IT.

More and more, we’re discovering that it all works together, and our two most critical organs – our heart and our brains – are heavily dependent on one another. Of course they both keep us alive, but taking care of your cardiovascular health can ensure that the vessels and arteries that fuel that big ol’ ball of grey matter upstairs are supplying adequate blood flow to keep the synapses firing.

5. GIVE IT A REST.

It may sound trite, but sleep does a body – and a brain – good. Every part of a human needs rest to rejuvenate, but numerous studies have shown the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation on mental function, and in cases of prolonged deprivation, long-term cognition consequences. Whether you’re a night owl who naps or you set aside that eight hours of uninterrupted, getting adequate shuteye is one of the best things you can do for your brain!

Join us in our DDR: Health & Wellness group on Facebook for continued conversation and community centered around being our best selves – mind, body, and soul!

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