Did you know our brains are ‘plastic?’ That they adapt in remarkable ways depending on how we choose to use them? And that we can change our brain’s habits to help us perform better and be happier?
Brain Gym – Workouts to Boost your Brain Health
Crack a smile wherever and whenever you can, especially if you don’t feel like it. Smiling releases chemicals that boost your mood and help reduce stress levels. Even a fake smile can make you feel calmer and more relaxed. Tag smiling onto something you do routinely to make it habitual. Smile when you pee, smile in the shower or while you wait for the kettle to boil. Smiling is contagious so share yours generously to spread the health benefits.
Sit less and stand more by committing to doing certain work tasks like taking phone calls standing up, or at home break long spells watching sport by standing for throw-ins and penalties. Reducing your daily sitting time from 8 hours to 6 hours by standing for two hours every day instead is the equivalent of running six marathons a year. Becoming more active boosts brain performance, reduces stress and improves sleep.
Improve the quality of your sleep by managing your exposure to light. Use only low-level lighting from around 8pm. An hour before bed, shut down any devices that emit a blue light. Avoid turning on a bright bathroom or bedroom light immediately before getting into bed and make your room as dark as possible for sleeping. You need to sleep so that your brain can consolidate memories and make space for new incoming information the next day. In the absence of sufficient, good quality sleep your brain can’t clear the metabolic waste and toxins leaving you feeling sluggish and irritable and your brain vulnerable to dementia.
These tips are excerpt from Sabina’s new book Brain Gym – 40 Workouts to Boost your Brain Health, which will be published 2nd March 2023
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