4 Easy Steps to Protect Your Heart and Your Brain
By Shelley Krupa, Business Operations Coordinator at Jefferson Memory Care
When we take care of our hearts, we take care of our brains at the same time. Yes – it’s true! “What’s good for the heart, is good for the brain.”
It is easy to keep benefits flowing from our hearts to our brains by incorporating actions in our day-to-day lives.
How can we add more to our to-do lists when we’ve already got enough things to remember?
It’s easy – pop these 4 steps into our routines and we’re well on our way to healthier hearts and brains.
1. Exercise daily – 30 to 60 minutes - to music for an extra boost. Take a brisk walk, clean the house, or dance around the room. Move around, baby, move around. Anything we do to get our blood to pump will make our hearts and brains feel happy. Add a fun challenge – recall words to oldies but goodies songs while moving about.
2. Socialize – call a friend, play games with loved ones, or visit a friend in an assisted living home. While you’re there, don’t forget to share smiles with strangers or workers – everyone benefits from being kind and friendly to someone in need. It warms the heart and helps the body’s endorphins flow into our brains in the process. Some studies say remaining socially active can reduce risks for dementia by 60 percent.
3. Reduce stress – not only can it contribute to high blood pressure, but it impairs the brain’s ability to retain or recall memories. Avoid multi-tasking; visit a park or nature conservatory; ask for help; play puzzles; daydream - we’re never too old to dream.
4. Sweet dreams - protect your 8 hours of dedicated sleep every night. Avoid daily naps, strenuous activity before retiring at night, consuming any liquids 1-2 hours before bed, especially alcohol or caffeine, and keep disruptions to your night-time routine to a minimum. Good sleep improves your memory and reduces chronic inflammation that causes your heart to work harder than it should have to.
Wishing you a skip in your step and joy in your day!