How are you treating your brain? Do you feel your cognitive health could use some improvement? Just like your physical health is important to your day-to-day activities, you shouldn’t ignore brain health. That’s because brain health is essential to your overall sense of wellbeing as you age.
Did you know that June is dedicated to Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness worldwide?
We all hope to avoid – as far as possible – neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. So – we’d like to invite you this month to look at your cognitive health as part of your daily self-care routine.
We’ll offer some valuable tips, insights, and preventive measures you can start taking today to
- improve your brain health,
- safeguard longevity, and
- start your journey to a better life at any age.
We’ll also tell you about a special brain scan that will help you decide what else you can do to help keep your brain health in top form!
Let’s start by understanding cognitive health.
What is Cognitive Health?
Cognitive health encompasses several mental processes that, between them, allow you to think, learn, reason, and remember information effectively. (Think remembering that person’s name, or working out if you’re being overcharged!) These mental processes include the following:
- Perception: interpreting and making sense of information from your environment
- Attention: being able to remain focused on your task or stimulus
- Memory: retaining and recalling information easily in the short and long term
- Language: understanding and communicating in speech and writing
- Problem-solving: being able to analyze and find solutions to your problems
- Decision-making: your ability to plan, organize, adapt to different situations, and flexibly change your plan when necessary to achieve your goals
We take all this for granted when younger!
Of course, many factors influence your cognitive health, including
- lifestyle choices, and
- the environment.
And while you can expect some cognitive decline as a natural part of aging, maintaining good brain health protects you from more serious decline that can become a neurological condition.
Why is Brain Health Important?
As mentioned up top, you need to maintain your cognitive health for overall wellbeing and quality of life.
Maintaining brain health is two-pronged: It supports cognitive function and reduces the risk of age-related neurological issues.
Both Alzheimer’s and dementia, for example, are directly related to brain health.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurological disorder primarily affecting memory, thinking, and behavior. It’s the most common cause of dementia, which, as you know, brings a severe decline in cognitive abilities and significantly impacts daily life.
The main risk factor for these conditions is age. Most cases occur when you’re over 65. But that doesn’t mean Alzheimer’s is a normal part of aging. Other risk factors include
- a family history of the disease,
- genetic mutations, and
- certain health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.
This is why maintaining your brain health is so important.
However, with healthy lifestyle choices and some strategies to improve your cognitive health, you can help reduce the risk or delay the eventual onset of Alzheimer’s.
Let’s look at steps you can take to start improving your brain health.
How to Keep Your Brain Healthy
Improving your brain health involves preserving and enhancing your cognitive abilities as best as possible. You can do this by
- adopting a healthy lifestyle,
- engaging in mentally stimulating activities,
- managing your stress, and
- taking proactive steps to protect your brain and support cognitive function.
This is not as complicated as it sounds! Here are some simple tips to improve your cognitive abilities and keep your brain sharp:
1 Be mentally active: Challenge your brain regularly by reading books, solving puzzles, learning new skills, or engaging in mentally stimulating hobbies
2 Be physically active: Regular exercise lowers your risk of cognitive decline because physical activities promote blood flow to your brain. Blood and oxygen are vital to your brain’s health! Exercise also reduces fat deposits in your muscles – studies suggest this is also a risk factor for cognitive decline.
3 Adopt a healthy diet: A balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats has proven beneficial for cognitive health. Make changes gradually if you find food choices difficult.
4 Maintain a healthy cardiovascular system: Conditions that affect your heart and blood vessels, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s.
5 Get quality sleep: Poor sleep and sleep disorders may contribute to cognitive decline. Set sleep times so you have a routine that helps you get sufficient good-quality rest!
6 Be sociable: Social interaction and meaningful relationships have been linked to better cognitive health. This can be in-person or over the internet – both can help you keep up valuable contact with loved ones.
7 Be Proactive with your health: Taking a preventive approach to your health can significantly improve outcomes and slow down the progression of certain brain-related conditions.
So – in addition to these strategies, and in the interests of being proactive, and preventative, here’s a good move. Consult with a healthcare professional for regular cognitive assessments.
Why? Because they can monitor your cognitive health and provide personalized recommendations for maintaining or improving it.
At Nava Center, we recommend a regular WAVi brain scan. This comprehensive brain health assessment tool provides valuable information about your brain and overall health, using advanced electroencephalogram (EEG) technology to
- record your brain activity,
- measure your brain function, and
- identify any potential cognitive issues or abnormalities.
You can use the WAVi brain scan as a part of your diagnostic tool kit to help monitor the impact of integrative and preventive health strategies on your cognitive health.
Measure Your Brain Health With the WAVi Brain Scan at Nava Center
The WAVi brain scan is a revolutionary way to measure and compare your brain’s patterns to a healthy baseline. You wear a portable headset for 30 minutes and take a series of tests – after which the software analyzes your results.
Using the comparison baseline, early signs of cognitive impairment become obvious. We can then help you to start to avoid those unwelcome neurological conditions.
It’s as simple as that! Why not support your brain health this month (or at any time!) by taking a WAVi brain scan as part of a comprehensive health assessment?
After reading your results with you, a Nava healthcare provider will create your personalized health plan. Schedule your consultation today and start treating your brain with the care it deserves!