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Published on: September 14, 2014
by Nancy LaFever for Seniors for Living:
September is Wold Alzheimer’s Month and a reminder that one of the best things to do for your health at any age is take good care of your brain.With so much focus on our bodies with healthy eating and staying active we tend to pay less attention to this most important organ, emphasizes fitness expert and neurosurgeon, Dr. Brett Osborn. Dr. Osborn is a New York University-trained, board-certified neurological surgeon and has a secondary certification in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine.
“There are several, multi-billion dollar industries out there dedicated to burning fat and building muscle; cognitive health, on the other hand, has been largely overlooked,” explains Osborn, author of “Get Serious, A Neurosurgeon’s Guide to Optimal Health and Fitness.” And Osborn reminds us that a good health expert knows it’s all connected, “For example, what’s good for the heart will be, directly or indirectly, good for the brain.” Keeping to that mind-body-fitness connection model, Osborn offers some important brain-health tips.
Learn New Skills
Dr. Osborn suggests like other health issues, brain health should be part of theprevention of disease. Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease with both the cause and cure unknown at this point. But it is believed that stimulating the brain may delay onset of the disease. So learning a new skill works the brain’s “muscle.
Exercise Makes the Brain Work
Although Osborn says the brain isn’t actually a muscle, physical activity is good for it. Learning an exercise routine makes new neuron pathways in the brain. “Let’s face it, there is a component of learning in exercise,” Osborn says. “You cannot master the squat overnight; the brain has to change. Neuronal connections, or ‘synapses,’ are formed through very complex biophysical mechanisms. That takes time.”
Watch Your Stress Levels
While there is good stress that acts as a motivator and is a result of hard physical activity, psychological stress has very negative effects on the brain and body. Try hard to reduce stress in your life. Reconsider toxic relationships which can have both short- and long-term detrimental emotional stress.
Pick the Right Fuel for Body and Brain
“I don’t believe in ‘diets,’ ” Osborn says. “Fit individuals were around for eons before the term existed, and I associate the term with temporary and, often, self-destructive behaviors.” Once again, the body and brain both benefit from the fuel of proper nutrition and foods that are good for our health.
Take Dr. Osborn’s advice and make a plan to do the right things for your brain this month!
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