Brain awareness week continues, so does our "food for thought".
How to nourish your mind with food, exercise and relaxation. These are essential as the brain uses 20% of the total oxygen and energy intake of our body, although it only accounts for 2% of our body weight.It never switches off, as even during sleep it is still generating the equivalent power of about a 10 watt light globe.
Nourish Your body to nourish your Brain
Eating a well balanced diet is essential for a healthy brain as it provides the energy required to allow the body to perform efficiently. A steady supply of nutrients from the blood enables the protein in the brain to build cells, produce chemicals for communication and repair damage to the body.
Some helpful nutrition tips:
- Have a well balanced diet containing foods low in cholesterol and saturated (animal) fat
- Eat a nutritious breakfast such oats with fresh fruit
- Protein and unsaturated fat is great for developing brains, fish is a great source of both
- Avoid eating excessively to help slow age-related brain changes
- Variety is vital. Try to "eat the rainbow” daily. Different coloured fruit and vegetables provide different nutrients, all are essential for optimal brain function.
For more specialised dietary advice for you and your family book an appointment with us on
Keep Your Body Moving to Keep Your Brain Happy
Exercise is not only important for a healthy body but also for a healthy mind. Evidence suggests that stress and depression damages the brain and may affect memory. It has been shown that only 12 minutes of exercise at 85% maximum heart rate releases serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline, which are your feel good hormones.
Ways to include exercise in your routine
- Schedule 30 minutes of exercise into your day:
- Treat it like an appointment, make a time and keep it.
- Remember to make it something you enjoy, otherwise you will look for ways to avoid it.
- If you can’t manage a 30 minute block, why not try two 15 minute sessions.
- Include incidental exercise in your routine: Swap the lift for the stairs, go for a 10 minute walk on your lunch break or park your car as far away from the destination as possible
- Active play with young family members will help them as well as you.,
- If you don't have any young family members you can always just dance around the house to your favourite fast paced music until you are puffed out.
Exercise can sometimes result in injuries, but these are usually related to attempting to jump in too quickly, and do more than your body is ready for. To prevent injuries follow some simple steps. Pace yourself (don't try to run a marathon on the first day), and prepare yourself with a check up to make sure your body is in balance and get good professional advice to get your body moving and love it.
The injuries from exercise are usually much less of a problem than all the health risks that result from not exercising!
Take Some Time Out and Sleep Well
Relaxation is vital for a healthy brain as it helps reduce stress and it is important to make time every day to unwind. One of the best ways to do this is to have balance between your work and your leisure time.
Here are some ideas about how you could relax
- Meditate: Even just sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing will achieve a more relaxed mind
- Take time out for yourself: Read a book, watch your favourite movie or take a bath
- Get a good nights sleep: Keep an eye out for an upcoming post for how to achieve this because for some of us this can be a challenge
- Laugh out loud (even for no real reason)
- Don't look at sleep as an inconvenience, but as great preparation for a good next day.
- Aim for 7-9 hours of good sleep at night
Our Remedial Massage Therapist, Chiropractor, Physiotherapist and Acupuncturist may be able assist you with your exercise routine and managing injuries, as well as promoting relaxation. This may help to improve and maintain your brain and nervous systems functioning so you can get the most out of your body and mind. Call us on 8346 3495 to book an appointment