Enough exercise is good for the blood vessels. If you move enough, you will stay better on weight. Your blood pressure stays up, and you improve your fat profile. But regular exercise has even more positive effects. This also helps to keep your neuron supply up to standard. And that is good news for the health of your brain.
“We know that physical exercise can help prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease,” explains Dr. Maquet out. “We can not quite explain why this is so, but research has shown that even adults are still producing new neurons, and regular exercise seems to stimulate neuron production .” So training your body is also good to keep your brain healthy.
Good sleep also works wonders for the proper functioning of your brain, according to Dr Maquet: “People with chronic sleep problems get obesity more quickly. That is because the sugar regulation in their blood is thrown up. If you sleep badly, you tend to eat fatter and get to sweat more quickly. That way the kilos are easier. Moreover, you end up in a vicious circle: if you are overweight, you immediately have a higher risk of sleep apnea, which makes your sleep quality worse.
“It is even more important for children and students to sleep well.” Dr. Maquet: “The memory, the ability to make decisions … all those cognitive functions work better if you sleep deeply and long enough. You build up memories in your sleep. Students who want to memorize their subject matter better ensure a good night’s rest than that they stay up all night to continue studying “.
Never stop learning
Do you want your brain to last a long time? Then keep using it! Continue to train your memory by constantly learning new things , no matter how old or young you are. Doctor Maquet: “The richer your environment is on social and intellectual stimuli, the more your brain has to work to create synapses, or connections between the neurons.
And the more synapses you acquire in the course of your life, the less likely you will become demented because you have a large neuron supply. “How can you create these synapses? Keep learning new things: study a foreign language, learn to play the piano, … And keep your social contacts alive. Because those too play a role in keeping your brain fit.
Stress is bad for the brain, and certainly for your memory. Doctor Maquet: “If you are chronically and permanently under stress, the stress hormones increase in your blood. Too many stress hormones can have a negative effect on your brain in the long term. Especially your memory suffers. For example, cortisol, one of those stress hormones, can cause an atrophy of the hippocampus. That means that your hippocampus gets smaller. “If you want to take care of your brain, keep an eye on your stress level.
Brain and cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular diseases also have a bad effect on the health of your brain. “The brains of people with cardiovascular problems get it extra hard,” said Dr. Maquet. “And a lot of people are affected by it: 1 out of 5 women is at risk for a CVA during her lifetime, with men that is 1 in 4.
These disorders cause a venous obstruction, causing small or large amounts of cells to die off. If the blood circulation in your brain is interrupted, neurons die in the minutes that follow. That can have major consequences for your functioning. At world level, CVA is the main cause of disability in adults.
But there is also good news: you can partly avoid both disorders by living healthy. “It is therefore important to realize that an unhealthy lifestyle can have irreversible consequences for your brain.” Dr. Maquet: “We can transplant kidneys, a heart, and many other organs, but the brain does not. Your brain is unique. You have to do it until the end of your life. Reason enough to take good care of it. “
If you want to keep your brain in top shape, then Doctor Maquet recommends not eating too much fat and avoiding too much sugar and salt : “It is important to eat as varied as possible so that your diet is balanced. kitchen is a must, because you get enough fatty acids and vitamins inside. “