Unlock Your Brain Health: The Seven Keys of Vibrant, Healthy Aging

April 28, 2009 at 12:18 am Leave a comment

image A healthy, fit brain is key to vitality, energy and health at any age – tending to its well being becomes especially important as we age.  Having a healthy brain leads to a healthier mind and body, and just like physical fitness, it takes a little extra effort as we get older.

As science progresses, we’ve learned some surprising things about brain health – that it isn’t just a matter of good genes, basic intelligence or a few nutritional supplements, but requires a much more balanced approach, an approach that’s been divided up different ways by different experts.

Here, we’re separating them into 7 different categories, or “The Seven Keys”.  And as an introduction, I thought it would be good to  expand on them all, just a little. So here goes!

The 7 Keys: Unlocking Brain Health.

  1. Physical Activity
    Staying physically active increases blood flow to the brain, provides more oxygen, encourages neural growth, and even appears to stimulate the birth of new brain cells.
  2. Mental Stimulation
    Keeping yourself mentally challenged builds new neural path ways, reinforces existing ones, helps maintain those new cells created by exercise, and builds an oh-so-important cognitive reserve.
  3. Diet / Nutrition
    Your brain needs a variety of nutritional building blocks, and more and more “brain superfoods” are being discovered all the time: berries, nuts, caffeine, wild salmon, even chocolate have been shown to be beneficial!
  4. Stress Management
    No two ways about it…. prolonged stress is just bad for the brain. It can bring the production of new cells to a halt, kill off existing cells, and even shrink the parts of the brain involved in storing memories!
  5. Social Interaction
    No one quite knows why yet, but staying socially active appears to be stimulating to the brain in important ways – while loneliness and isolation lead to depression and stress.
  6. Sleep: Quality & Quantity
    As we age, our sleep patterns change, and we often become sleep deprived – which reduces cognitive function in the short term, and increases stress and can even cause hallucinations and death, in the long term.
  7. Spirituality / Purpose & Meaning / Positive Outlook
    Having a positive outlook, a sense of belonging, and a feeling that life is ultimately meaningful reduces stress, increases activity levels, and keeps us engaged with the world around us – which, in turn, keeps the brain stimulated and healthy.

So there you have them…  7 Keys to Unlocking Brain Health.

Now, don’t think you have to go out and become a marathon-running, vegetarian, PHD candidate nun to have a healthy brain.  Just a little bit of attention in each of these areas goes a long way.

Remember, it’s about finding balance, not going to extremes – and making just a few small changes in your life can sometimes have amazing results in both your mental function and your over all quality of life.

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A Graceful Gift of Brains: The Nun Study

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About This Blog


A healthy mind and brain is key to a healthy, active life. Come along for the ride as we explore the basics of brain health, with topics including:
  • Physical Exercise
  • Cognitive Training
  • Stress Management
  • Social Interaction
  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • A Sense of Purpose & Connection
Authored by Tori Deaux
Sponsored by Dakim Brain Fitness

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