Lack of sleep, stress, and inadequate exercise can negatively impact your brain health, but new research shows that passion, exercise, and social relationships can also help you maintain cognitive function.
The combination of these three elements can be especially protective against early onset dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
In fact, many people experience less deterioration of memory and overall brain health as they age when these three key elements are present in their lives. How do you make sure you’re getting the proper amounts of each? Keep reading to find out!
A Passion Fuels Your Energy
People who have a passion in their lives that they can dedicate their time to are the most likely to be happy. This is because passion gives people the ability to devote themselves wholly to an activity that they love.
One of the most important aspects of this is that it provides some sort of meaning. Without it, life may feel empty or meaningless. A study by researchers at the University of Rochester found that people with a sense of purpose and meaning had healthier brains than those without.
Their brain scans showed more activity in certain regions associated with positive emotions. As for exercise, research has shown that there’s no better way to keep your brain sharp than being physically active something we know intuitively as runners ourselves!
A study from Boston College found that regular physical activity resulted in increased connectivity between certain parts of the brain responsible for memory and learning. And finally, meaningful relationships make us happier and there’s no one we enjoy running alongside more than you!
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Exercise helps your body AND mind
Exercise not only strengthens muscles but can also improve the function of your brain. If you are feeling sluggish or struggling with memory problems, try taking up a new hobby like yoga or Zumba.
It will give your body a break while releasing feel-good chemicals in your brain that help decrease stress and anxiety. Plus, exercise has been shown to boost mood and increase energy levels.
For those with insomnia or trouble sleeping at night, get up early for a quick workout before work to jumpstart the day! But don’t forget to be mindful about what time you go to bed as well.
Getting enough sleep is critical for maintaining mental clarity and keeping your mind sharp.
And if you’re worried about having to give up your favorite sweets for a healthier diet?
Don’t worry you don’t have to. Adding more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet can help curb sugar cravings by supplying your body with healthy nutrients while allowing it to feel full faster.
Plus, these foods provide antioxidants that protect against brain aging as well as memory loss. It may also help slow age-related weight gain that can increase your risk of developing diabetes or heart disease, both of which are big contributors to cognitive decline over time.
If you are looking for a way to strengthen not only your body but your relationships as well then consider volunteering at a local nursing home or retirement center.
Strong social bonds benefit you and others
Talking to others face-to-face helps build relationships – both personal and professional – which in turn promotes brain health. Studies have shown that having meaningful relationships (whether they be romantic, familial, or friendships) is essential for reducing depression and increasing happiness.
Research has shown that strong social bonds benefit you and others. In particular, researchers have found that caring for others is good for the brain!
For example, a study found that mothers of young children who spent more time taking care of family members had better memory skills than those who didn’t.
Plus, research also shows that people with high levels of social connection have lower levels of inflammation in their bodies.
And finally, a study showed that older adults with stronger social connections had better cognitive performance than those with weaker connections. It’s not just other people that are important; it’s how you relate to yourself.
Self-compassion can help reduce anxiety and stress while improving self-esteem. Research even suggests that practicing self-compassion may actually boost your immune system by lowering cortisol levels!
You don’t need a lot of money or an extensive workout routine to improve your brain health; all it takes is some passion, exercise, and meaningful relationships.
🔵National Library Of Medicine (n.d) Passion for Exercise: Passion’s Relationship to General Fitness Indicators and Exercise Addiction (Available On):https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6355203/
🔵Science Direct (n.d) Dimensions of passion and their relationship to the risk of exercise addiction: Cultural and gender differences (Available On):https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352853222000463
With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.