This may come as a surprise to some, but the overall health of your body can have a direct influence on the health of your brain. Late-life impaired cognitive function has been directly linked to obesity and overweight symptoms earlier in life. Making the decline even faster are frequently related symptoms such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. However, what we do and what we eat can, in many cases, help stave off that decline. Exercising is one way to assist your brain in staying healthy for longer.
Targeting Mind to Muscle Communication
Every time you move, that action is driven by neurological impulses. Safe physical reactions are made possible by strong communication between your mind and your muscles. Carrying heavy loads, lifting, maintaining balance, preventing a fall after you slip… these are all somewhat preventable because of that line of communication.
When you exercise your body, not only are you utilizing specific muscle groups, you are increasing blood flow and raising your heartbeat. The more you encourage your brain waves to ignite the movement of your body, the stronger you are making your mind to muscle communication. Even without heavy exercise, the brain’s neural muscular pathways are strengthened by the repetition of daily, functional movements such as stooping, turning, stretching, and lifting.
Improving Mind to Muscle Communication
Now that you know what it is and how important it is, how can you take the theory of mind to miscommunication and make it work in your favor? How do you improve it? As with most things, let’s begin with the basics. Through the evaluation of muscle weaknesses and strengths, a health or trained fitness professional can work with you to develop the body’s weaker muscles and lead to functional, synchronized movements through full body muscle integration. Improved balance, agility, strength and quicker reaction times will be the result as neurological impulses are repeated and optimized.
Eating & Drinking for a Healthier Mind
Certain foods encourage brain as well as physical health. Vegetable juices, citrus, and pomegranate offer potent antioxidants. Beans assist in stabilizing glucose levels. Leafy greens are rich in lutein, another antioxidant. Salmon helps cognitive function through omega-3 fatty acids. Helpful in the prevention of cognitive decline, vitamin E can be found in seeds and nuts.
Also assisting in the enhancement of cognitive function is vitamin K which can be found in broccoli, which also provides fiber and vitamin D. Avocados not only help lower blood pressure but improve blood flow and vascular health and are, in fact, nearly as good as blueberries in that category. Strawberries are excellent in helping with short-term memory loss delay. And to supply the brain with plenty of energy for focus and concentration, whole grains should be consumed through brown pasta, whole grain bread, wheat bread, and brown cereals.
Last but not least is water. Surely not a day goes by that you don’t hear “drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day”. But, possibly, what you haven’t heard is that without proper hydration, your brain tissue actually begins to shrink! Not only can that lead to short-term memory problems but it can affect cognitive function as well.
Eating healthy and keeping your body as fit and healthy as possible can only assist in improving and maintaining the health of your mind. And without our minds, we would not be who we are, love the people that we love, or be able to do the things that we enjoy most in life. Regardless of who you are, start exercising today and get your brain health up to par!