Ensuring strong brain health and cognitive function is equally important as tending to our physical well-being. Just as physical health is essential for a vibrant life, cognitive health plays a critical role in shaping our experiences and interactions with the world around us. It’s a fundamental aspect of our well-being but is oftentimes overlooked due to the nature of our busy lives and schedules.
In this article, we will explore what cognitive health is, why it’s important, and how you can preserve and improve your cognition throughout the years.
What is cognitive health?
Cognitive health refers to the performance of our mental faculties, encompassing a wide range of functions. Cognitive health is one aspect of having a healthy brain that possesses the capacities for:
- Sound judgment
- Motor skills
- Understanding and expressing language
- Regulating emotions
- Learning new things
We utilize multiple facets of our cognitive health for daily living. For example, those of us who work a full-time job are required to exercise our cognitive health to remember assignments, make decisions, handle stressful scenarios in a professional manner, and learn new skills or technologies.
Even outside of the workforce, we use our cognitive health on a daily basis to handle medication management, read, engage in meaningful conversations, and remember important dates.
Why is cognitive health important?
The core functionalities that impact our ability to live vital lives are widely impactive by our cognitive health. Functions like our decision-making, judgment, ability to learn and retain information, and our problem-solving skills are all determined vastly by cognitive health. It’s important to have strong cognitive health to succeed in the workplace, maintain strong relationships, practice self-care, and think clearly. Maintaining strong cognitive health will help you feel more confident and equipped to function in a fast-paced society.
How to preserve and improve cognitive health
There are several ways that you can both preserve and improve your cognitive health for the years ahead…
Take care of your physical health
Prioritizing your blood pressure is essential for cognitive health. Research has confirmed that having high blood pressure not only increases the likelihood of early-onset Dementia but also increases the chances of developing several vascular cognitive impairments. It’s been shown that over 1.2 billion people across the globe have high blood pressure, impacting cognitive decline as early as childhood.
If you’re unsure about whether you have high blood pressure, schedule a visit to your doctor to assess your vitals and establish a plan for maintaining healthy blood pressure. Additionally, for best practices at home, consider incorporating magnesium-rich foods into your diet, as magnesium promotes blood vessel dilation and can assist in reducing blood pressure. Excellent dietary sources of magnesium include legumes, seeds, nuts, whole grains, leafy greens, bananas, avocado, and cocoa. Potassium is another valuable nutrient for blood pressure regulation, promoting vasodilation. You can obtain good sources of potassium from a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats, poultry, and grains.
In addition to dietary changes, it’s also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise and sufficient sleep are essential components of overall well-being that can contribute to better blood pressure management.
Take care of your mental health
Keeping your mind active and alert is an essential way to protect and improve your cognitive health. Lacking robust cognitive health can lead to challenges in maintaining clear thinking, reasoning, and the ability to acquire and process information effectively.
Engaging in word games, puzzles, and reading books are excellent methods for enhancing logical reasoning, preserving cognitive acuity, and bolstering memory retention. It’s also important to stay connected with friends and loved ones. Socializing can stimulate your attention and memory, helping to strengthen cognition and improve your mental health. Research has found that those with strong social communities are less likely to experience cognitive decline than those who spend time alone. One study with 12,000 participants suggests that those who are lonely risk of dementia rises by as much as 40%. Find engaging activities to do with your loved ones and try to connect on a regular basis. If you live far away from family, consider joining a group in your community to cultivate meaningful relationships.
If you feel like you’ve lost your vitality, spark, or the drive that sustains you, Exceed Hormone Specialists is here to help. Contact us today to schedule your one-on-one consultation.