You can start learning about brain health here. When you're done, if you're hungry for more, visit brainhealth.gov and some of the sites listed below for even more information!
We all want to stay healthy and independent as we get older. Along with keeping our bodies in good shape, we want to keep our minds healthy, too. Ongoing research is helping us learn more about ways to maintain a healthy brain. Developing a brain disease or injury as you age depends on a mix of your family’s genes, your environment, and your health choices. Some risks to brain health cannot be controlled or prevented, like your genes. Others, like health choices, are under your control.
Your doctor or health care provider can help you learn about taking care of your overall health, and that's definitely a good place to start, but what could you start doing yourself today?
What Can You Do To Protect Brain Health?
In short, these are the things you need in your long-term strategy, the things you can control. You want to:
- Take care of your health
- Eat healthy, nutritious foods
- Be active
- Try new things, learn new things
- Connect with family, friends, and communities
Take Care of Your Overall Health
- Don't be a stranger to your doctor, get recommended health screenings
- Manage problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol
- Make sure your medicines are right for you, talk to your doctor about how you're feeling
- Reduce your risk of brain injuries due to falls and other types of accidents
- Quit smoking
What you get out of your body is only as good as what you put into it. Your body wants:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Lean meats, fish, and white meat
- Low-fat or non-fat dairy products
- Less solid fat, sugar and salt
- Proper portion sizes
- Adequate fluids
Having trouble finding or paying for the right foods? Don't settle for processed foods just because they're convenient. Look into healthy meal programs, like those provided by your local Area Agency on Aging.
Stick With It!
Whatever you choose to do, commit to it. Make a promise to yourself. Write it down or tell your friends and family, especially if you need their encouragement to really stick with it. Even better, get them to do these things with you! These are good suggestions for everyone, at every age.
Get Active, Stay Active!
Ready to learn more? Keep reading.
Need more? Try some of these sources:
- Visit brainhealth.gov
- Contact a local Area Agency on Aging (AAA)
- Use the Eldercare Locator www.eldercare.gov
- National Institutes of Health www.nih.gov
- National Institute on Aging at NIH www.nia.nih.gov
- ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of NIH www.clinicaltrials.gov
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov/aging
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity
Source Agencies: Administration for Community Living (ACL), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Last updated: 2015-10-14