Just as we need to take steps to keep our bodies healthy, we need to keep our brain in shape, too. Our lifestyle has a profound impact on our brain. Everything we eat and drink, the exercise we do, how well we sleep, the way we socialize, and how we manage stress are all critically important to our brain health.

When our brain is healthy, it has the blood flow required for peak performance. A healthy brain is essential for living a long and full life. No matter our age brain health matters and the choices we make today can help us have a healthier brain tomorrow. There are many things we can do to help slow any decline in memory and lower our risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.

Here are six ways we can improve our brain health one day at a time:

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    1

    Get Moving

    Get Moving! People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Exercise improves blood flow and memory; it stimulates chemical changes in the brain that enhance learning, mood and thinking.

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    2

    Eat Healthier

    Eat Smart! We are what we eat. As we grow older, our brain is exposed to more harmful stress due to lifestyle and environmental factors. Food rich in antioxidants can help fend off the harmful effects of oxidation in our brains.

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    3

    Get Screenings and Check-Ups

    Hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, smoking, etc. can all increase the risk of dementia. We can control and reduce these risks. Get an annual check-up, follow your doctor’s recommendations and take medications as prescribed.

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    4

    Get Better Sleep

    Sleep energizes you, improves your mood and your immune system, and may reduce buildup in the brain of an abnormal protein called beta-amyloid plaque, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Practicing meditation and managing stress may help fend off age-related decline in brain health.

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    5

    Exercise Your Brain

    Mental exercise is just as critical as physical exercise in keeping your brain fit and healthy. Mental exercises may improve your brain’s functioning and promote new brain cell growth, decreasing your likelihood of developing dementia.

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    6

    Get Social

    Leading an active social life can protect you against memory loss. Spending time with others, engaging in stimulating conversation, and staying in touch and connected with family and friends are good for your brain health. Studies have shown that those with the most social interaction in their community experience the slowest rate of memory decline.