Health Topic of the Month August 2016

Keeping Your Mind Sharp

brain healthExercise isn’t just for the body, it’s for the brain too. By keeping a healthy mind, you are better able to realize your true potential, cope with day-to-day stress and be more productive at home and work. As 9Health Ready Mental Health Expert Dr. Max Wachtel would tell you, it’s extremely important that you include mental health as part of your overall health regimen. So what does that look like?

Make Time for You

You may think you don’t have time for yourself, but how many ways can you actually squeeze some alone time in for yourself? Plenty! For instance,

  • After you drop the kids off at school and you are heading to work, blare your favorite music and sing along or listen to a podcast you really enjoy
  • Take your lunch break alone. Pack a salad or a sandwich and head to a nearby park where you can find a spot in the grass and read while you eat – even if it’s only for half an hour.
  • After you put the kids to bed, sip on a cup of decaf tea while reading a magazine or playing some Sudoku.

As you start to pay more attention to your surroundings rather than going through the motions, you’re bound to find more ways to fit more time for yourself, even if it’s just 15 minutes here and there.

Exercise Your Brain

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Mental decline as you age appears to be largely due to altered connections among brain cells. But research has found that keeping the brain active seems to increase its vitality and may build its reserves of brain cells and connections.” So it’s very important that even long after your schooling ends you continue to flex your brain muscle. Here’s a few ways to do that:

  • Play games that make you think, such as the Sudoku we mentioned above or a crossword puzzle.
  • Learn new skills. Have you ever wanted to sew? Maybe now’s the time to learn! Or enroll in a class at your local community college.
  • Try memory exercises.

By integrating these two key areas into your daily life – making time for you and exercising your brain – you can pump up your brainpower to help enable you towards an overall healthier lifestyle.