Building Good Habits for Your Brain
You probably already have certain habits that protect your health, like brushing your teeth, checking your blood pressure, avoiding smoking, or wearing sunscreen. But do you practice any habits that protect your brain health? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably “no, how would I do that?”
Dementia affects about 24 million people globally and there’s currently no medication to cure or reverse its symptoms. But there’s good news—you can take steps to protect your memory health now and reduce your risk for cognitive decline and possibly even Alzheimer’s disease in the future.
Building healthy habits will help your brain become resilient to cognitive decline.
You may be wondering why you need to worry about protecting your brain health when you’re not experiencing memory loss. Perhaps you’re young and totally fine. But just as you do with your physical health, the habits you practice now can greatly impact your brain function as you age.
Science suggests there are 6 habit areas that directly impact brain health: exercise, diet, stress, social interaction, sleep, and cognitive training. Building healthy habits in each of these areas will help your brain become resilient to cognitive decline while also improving your health and wellbeing.
It’s overwhelming to think about changing all of these habits at once. That’s why we’re here to help. In this health library, you’ll find science-based articles that will explain the small steps you can begin taking today to start you down the path of lasting cognitive health.
- Christie, G. J., Hamilton, T., Manor, B. D., Farb, N. A. S., Farzan, F., Sixsmith, A., Temprado, J.-J., & Moreno, S. (2017). Do Lifestyle Activities Protect Against Cognitive Decline in Aging? A Review. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 9, 381. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2017.00381
- Scarmeas, N., & Stern, Y. (2003). Cognitive Reserve and Lifestyle. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 25(5), 625–633. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3024591/
- World Health Organization. (2006). Neurological Disorders: Public Health Challenges. Geneva: World Health Organization.