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Bee Brainy Tips & Tricks

By: Inter Valley Health Plan

Brain health is on everyone’s mind. Even with the growing concern about Alzheimer’s disease, the rise of Dementia diagnosis’ and lots of information about how the brain becomes damaged; not much is known definitively about how to keep the brain healthy.

Brain health is tied to heart health which in turn affects overall health. We do know certain foods promote brain health, that genetics may play a part and that lifestyle is a huge factor.

To help keep your brain healthy we have put together a few tips and tricks that are fun and simple:

Bee Social

Staying socially engaged may support brain health. Pursue social activities that are meaningful to you.

  •             Find ways to be part of your local community. If you love animals, consider volunteering at a local shelter. If you enjoy singing, join a local choir or help at an afterschool program.

  •             Invite friends over for Bunco, Checkers or Chess. Social connections are linked to reducing the risk of dementia.                                           

Bee Physical

Get your blood flowing and promote brain cell growth by staying active.

  •           Sign-up for a dance class. Learning new moves activates brain motor centers that form new neural connections.

  •          Take your dog or yourself for a walk. Walking for just 20 minutes a day can lower blood sugar. This helps stimulate blood flow to the brain, so you think more clearly.

  •           Bear some weight. Adding a little strength training to your daily walks can help protect brain cells from damage done by free radicals.

Bee Nutritious

Eating well is not just good for your physical health but your mental health as well.

  •            Snack on almonds and blueberries. The omega-3s in almonds and the antioxidants in blueberries can keep your brain functioning at optimum efficiency.     

  •             Sip red wine, judiciously. Up to two glasses for women and up to three for men weekly delivers the powerful antioxidant resveratrol, which may prevent free radicals from damaging brain cells.

  •             Sprinkle cinnamon on oatmeal for a bee brainy breakfast. The oats scrub plaques from your brain arteries, while a chemical in cinnamon is good for keeping your blood sugar in check.

Bee Brainy

Your brain is a muscle and it needs exercise just like your body. Keep learning to create a strong and healthy brain.

  •           Take a class. Research shows that taking courses—even just auditing them—can stave off dementia at an early age. Check out book readings, seminars, and other educational events.

  •           Tour your neighborhood. If your neighborhood is growing, check it out. Along with learning new and better routes to your favorite stores or restaurants, you'll forge new neural pathways in your brain   

Bee Fun

Games are not only fun, they stimulate the brain.

  •           Play timed games. These may help you develop focus and process information faster.

  •           Sudoku is an awesome game that requires you to think ahead for future moves. This means you need the skill of planning, which is a highly mentally stimulating activity.                                              

  •           Card games of various sorts are a great combination of many different mind-boosters: socialization, speed, decision making, and planning.                                                                                         

Bee Tricky

Use these daily tricks to keep your mind working and growing.

  •           While walking down the street, don't just keep your eyes forward. Scan to the left and to the right. These actions can activate rarely used parts of the brain. That in turn can spur brain cell growth and new neural connections.

  •           When you’re trying to remember a long list of items, it can help to group the items in sets of three to five.  For example, if you have a list of 15 things on your grocery list you can group the items by category, such as: dairy, produce, canned goods, and frozen foods.

Bee Happy

Chronic stress can shrink your brain's memory center. Take steps to increase happiness to improve your brain health.

  •           Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up. Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Put up a funny poster. Choose a computer screensaver that makes you laugh.       

  •           Take action to minimize stress. Studies have found that regular physical activity decreases stress, increases your ability to manage stress, and leads to a better mood overall.

  •           Sit quietly, and focus on a word or a memory that calms you. Meditation also helps mitigate feelings like depression and anxiety.

Article From Inter Valley Health Plan



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