Brain health refers to how well a person’s brain functions in different areas. The components of brain health include:
• Cognitive health: this is how you think, learn, and remember
• Motor function, which makes and controls your movements, including balance
• Emotional function, which is related to how you interpret and respond to emotions, both positive or negative
• Tactile function, which is how you feel and respond to sensations of touch. This includes pressure, pain, and temperature
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), research shows that the following healthy lifestyle habits can help maintain brain health and may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
• Get recommended health screenings.
• Manage chronic health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and high cholesterol.
• Consult with your health care provider about the medicines you take and possible side effects on memory, sleep, and brain function.
• Reduce risk for brain injuries due to falls and other accidents.
• Limit use of alcohol (some medicines can be dangerous when mixed with alcohol).
• Quit smoking if you currently smoke. Also avoid other nicotine products such as chewing tobacco. Ask your doctor for help or call a toll-free quit line that can provide support.
• Get enough sleep, between seven to eight hours each night.
Making changes isn’t always easy, but you can do it. Ask your doctor or health care provider for help and support. Your doctor can also connect you with professionals who can help you manage your diet and improve your lifestyle habits.