Nurturing Cognitive Health for a Vibrant Life

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:

  • Attention
  • Sound judgment
  • Reasoning
  • Motor skills
  • Understanding and expressing language
  • Regulating emotions
  • Learning new things
  • Memory

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.

How to Keep Your Brain Healthy and Young

As we age, it’s natural for us to become more absentminded. You may lose track of your keys more frequently or find yourself walking into a room only to forget why. But there’s a chance these minor inconveniences can progressively become worse and start to impact your day-to-day life. You may forget important dates, find it difficult to solve problems or feel lost doing tasks you would normally consider to be routine. 

Far too few people consider how to approach common memory-related issues early on. But it’s never been more important. Dementia is on the rise, with more than 6 million Americans over the age of 65 living with Alzheimer’s today. While there may not be a cure yet, there are several steps you can take to improve your brain health and keep your memory sharp.

Rely less on technology

As artificial intelligence (AI) technology continues to evolve, it will become easier for us to depend on it for things we previously relied on our memory for. For instance, family members’ phone numbers are saved in our contacts, we can now ask our home devices to relay our grocery list, and so on. Almost everything we need to remember can be saved on our electronic devices. But at what cost? 

Stimulate your brain

Similarly to ways we keep our bodies in shape — yoga, walking, lifting weights — we need to do the same for our brain. To keep your memory sharp, challenge yourself to daily word puzzles or math problems. You may also test your memory by reading a chapter in a book and then summarizing what happened. Put pen to paper for double the benefit. In addition, pick up a new hobby that encourages creativity, like painting or drawing. Stimulating the brain this way can create new connections between nerve cells and improve your overall brain health. 

Follow physical health best practices

Many researchers have studied meditation and its ability to improve general well-being. And that includes cognitive performance and emotional balance. Proper sleep, nutrition, and exercise also play a role. In fact, they help ensure you experience less stress, which is important because stress hormones put a strain on your brain. 

If you notice a slow decline in your memory, thinking, or reasoning skills, schedule a health screening with your primary care physician. Especially if you’re over the age of 65, have been diagnosed with another health issue such as diabetes, or have a family history of cognitive illness.

Ready to bring balance and vitality back into your life? Connect with us online or give us a call at 901-312-7899.