Keep Your Brain Healthy!!! By Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

In our past recent blogs, we’ve talked a lot about getting out of ruts by looking at new ways to do things and by focusing on our own professional development. These activities are important for several different reasons, one of which is that changing things up helps keep your brain healthy. As we get older, ensuring our brains are constantly challenged helps us to keep those mental faculties in good shape. In addition to the things we’ve talked about in past blogs, here are some good ways to keep your brain in shape.

  1. Keep your body in shape. Exercise is good for several reasons. One of these is that it increases blood flow to all the muscles, including the brain. Regular exercise can help keep your mind and body young.
  1. Read. Reading helps us learn, but it also helps us to keep our mind in shape. When we read, we have the opportunity to think more and to use our imaginations, as well. Reading to keep your brain healthy can be fun, too. There’s no requirement that you read something particularly educational or developmental. Just read something that you enjoy to engage your brain.
  1. Sleep. Sleep deprivation slows cognitive response, and let’s face it, busy people sometimes run on empty. The negative effects are not always short term. Long term sleep deprivation causes more damage than one good night’s sleep can repair.
  1. Talk to people who challenge you. Healthy discussion and debate is great for your brain. People who challenge you mentally will help you look at things with a new perspective and help you consider alternatives. In other words, these people make you use your brain in a way that others might not. So, make it a point to socialize with people that you consider intelligent and thought provoking.
  1. Play games. Down time is important to keeping a healthy brain. When you use that down time to do something you love and something that makes you think, you get double rewards. So, play a game with your family this weekend. Whether it’s plotting game strategy with your spouse on how to beat the kids at basketball or it’s playing chess against your best friend, you’re relaxing and developing at the same time.

Keep these five tips in mind every day to ensure you’re always working on keeping your mind agile and young. This is definitely one of those “use it or lose it” things you don’t want to lose.