The elderly should get even more physical activity for their physical and mental health

A healthy lifestyle has a profound effect on our brain health. What we eat and drink, how much we exercise, how well we sleep, how we cope with stress and the way we socialise are important to our brain health. Here are some ways we can keep a healthy brain.

How to keep your brain healthy:

1) Be physically active

Research shows that using our muscle also helps our mind. There is a relationship between exercise and brain health. Regular exercise improves blood flow and memory. It also lowers blood pressure, improves cholesterol levels, balance sugar level and reduces mental stress. Sign up for exercise classes such as Zumba Gold or Tai chi through HPB's Active Ageing Programmes.

2) Have a balanced diet

Diet with high salt and sugar could lead to chronic diseases such as hypertension (high blood pressure), which increases the risk of stroke. Eat a healthy diet of more fruits and vegetables. Have less sugar and salt, and choose food low in saturated fats such as fish and soya. We can plan our meals using My Healthy Plate. Click here to find out more about My Healthy Plate.

3) Say NO to tobacco and reduce alcohol consumption

Avoid all forms of tobacco and limit alcohol intake. These are the risk factors for chronic diseases such as hypertension, which may lead to stroke.

4) Sleep well

Sleep energises us, improves our mood and strengthens our immune system. Poor sleep or sleep loss leads to fatigue, immune suppression, memory loss and poor concentration.

5) Get mentally stimulated

Challenge our brain by doing activities such as reading, playing cards and board games, and solving crossword puzzles. Pick up a new skill, learn a new language or a musical instrument. These activities use the cognitive functions of our brain and reduce our risk of

6) Build positive relationships

Have frequent interactions with family and friends. Volunteer or join a club to make more friends and participate in community activities to keep your mind sharp.

7) Take safety measures

Prevent head injuries and falls by taking safety measures such as keeping our house clutter-free, wearing safety helmets when cycling and always putting on the seat belt during car rides.

Studies have shown that a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of chronic diseases and dementia. Let's actively take steps for a healthy mind today! 

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