Mar 20, 2024 – McMaster University 

Brain Awareness Week is part of a global campaign that aims to increase education about and support for brain science. The brain is the most complex part of the human body and is at the centre of our nervous system, controlling everything from movement to intelligence. When we think about our overall health, many people forget that our brain health plays an important role. However, healthy aging involves supporting both the body and the brain. Your lifestyle can influence the cognitive changes that come with age – giving you the power to keep your mind healthy! Here are five things you can do to boost your brain health and support healthy aging


Boost brain health with physical and cognitive exercises

A key part of healthy aging is keeping your brain healthy. Your lifestyle can influence the cognitive changes that come with age – giving you the power to keep your mind sharp. Exercise is a great way to keep the body fit and healthy. If that isn’t enough motivation to get you moving, the possible added benefit to your cognitive function just might! Exercising your brain may be important, too! Consider cognitive-based-training such as video games, learning therapy or computerized training to help improve cognitive function.


Get a good night’s sleep to achieve optimal brain health

Sleep is important to achieving optimal health. While it’s important to note that sleeping patterns are unique to each individual, sleep disturbances can also be a symptom of health problems, including neurodegenerative diseases, unhealthy weight and associated sleep apnea, and side effects from medication.


Quit smoking and avoid heavy drinking

Canada’s new Guidance on Alcohol and Health notes that any amount over 2 drinks per week is considered a moderate or higher risk to your health. The more you drink, the higher the health risks, including those that impact your brain health.


Stay socially active

Older adults should strive to maintain higher levels of brain activity in mid to late-life. Being socially active is an important predictor of well-being in general and brain health throughout life. For optimum effect, incorporate activities that provide social, cognitive and physical elements such as group yoga or tai chi.

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