Preserving Your Most Valuable Asset
If you have ever found yourself walking into a room and then wondering why you came in there or lost your train of thought mid-sentence, then it may be time to start thinking about how your lifestyle is contributing to “senior moments.” It is normal for the brain to deteriorate with age but you can do some simple tasks to keep it more alert.
The moment you get up out of bed, the day accelerates full speed ahead. You rush around each morning getting ready for work, possibly getting the kids off to school or rushing to the office to get stuck into your mounting pile of work. Who can blame you for forgetting whether you put food out for the dog or whether you turned the house alarm on that morning?
By being super busy all the time and having various tasks competing for your attention, it can be hard to focus on the task at hand.
Plan your day or week in advance so you feel more organised. Use a diary to schedule in appointments so you don’t need to store information in your head. At the end of the day, have a “brain purge” and write everything down that you need to do or remember. With better “self” management rather than time management, you can start to feel less harried and more in control, which will lead to less forgetfulness.
On waking, drink a big glass of water. As the brain is made up of 80 percent water, it is essential to perk it up after sleeping and combat any dehydration.
Remember to consume two litres of water throughout the day to keep you alert as well.
Increased Stress Levels:
Some stress is good for you and your brain to keep you sharp and focused but too much stress is no good for your memory.
Stress affects your ability to think straight and can lead to a chemical in the brain called glutamates, which floods the brain and causes the memory part of your brain (hippocampus) to shrink.
Learn to relax. Some well-deserved stress release is needed to restore your memory and get you back on track. Start exercising regularly, learn to meditate or take some more “me” time to unwind and ease stress. We have all heard this advice before but are you taking it? Every one has different ways in which they feel relaxed, so experiment to see what works for you.
Make sure to include some activities specific to your brain to unwind. Relax with a crossword puzzle or learn a new skill like Wing Chun (like martial arts) or a sport.
Nutrition has its part to play in keeping your brain optimally ticking along. Low blood sugar caused from eating irregularly or the wrong foods, wreak havoc on your concentration levels.
Aim to eat every three to four hours and consume foods high in fibre, low fat, varieties of fruit and vegetables and slow-release carbohydrates. Avoid quick “pick me ups” such as energy drinks, coffee or alcohol as they will cause a rapid drop in your energy levels and therefore your concentration.
Eat foods rich in omega-3 such as fish, nuts and eggs, as they aid brain function and can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Lack of sleep can really play havoc on your energy, levels of concentration and overall memory. It has been found that your brain stores memories of the day as you sleep. So skimping on sleep can affect will affect your ability to recall events.
Start a wind down routine. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Make sleep a priority. Stop working or watching TV, at least one to two hours before bedtime. Start a ritual before bed time that alerts your body that you are preparing for sleep.
Exercise is also crucial for better sleep and your brain. As you exercise, your brain is rejuvenated from the release of more oxygen, nutrients and the feel good hormone serotonin. You will sleep better with regular exercise. Aim to exercise at least three hours before bedtime, so it doesn’t end up over stimulating you!
Remember the saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it!” Incorporate some simple changes or habits into your day to keep you sharp and alert and your brain will thank you for it in the long run.
www.healthmastery.co.nz. Mobile Personal Training