Friday, November 14, 2014

How to Maintain Brain Function

The current issue of Neurology Now magazine includes an article on how to maintain cognitive function.  "Staying Sharp: What you do during your free time could help save your brain" lists the following "brain-boosting activities":
  • Learn A Second Language
  • Become A Social Butterfly
  • Play Music
  • Exercise
The article also claims that heart-protective measures may also protect the brain.  For example, it recommends:
  • Don't smoke.
  • Sleep 7–8 hours a night.
  • Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check.
  • Eat a low-fat, healthy diet.
  • Get plenty of exercise.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Get blood sugar levels (and diabetes, if you have it) under control.
Yes, cholesterol is still a villain, despite assertions from both cardiologists and neurologists that high blood sugar causes damage, and it's the cholesterol that aids in the repair of that damage.

The biggest payoff is to stimulate your intellect while elevating your blood flow.  Learn to dance or practice martial arts for example.  I try to meditate while I walk, or walk mindfully.

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