10 Key Pillars of Brain Health
As a health and fitness professional, your goal is to encourage clients to make positive and lasting changes to their health and well-being. When you empower your clients to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyle behaviors, you are not only supporting their mental and physical health, but the health and performance of their brains as well.
“The fields of fitness, wellness and coaching are leaders
in the emerging brain health movement.
There is a growing appreciation for the need to foster the behaviors and habits that promote brain health. The fitness and wellness fields have been leaders in the emerging brain health movement by considering the way lifestyle behavior changes can specifically impact brain health and performance.
The brain is the central organ of the body. It is the “central station” that organizes and controls everything that happens in the body, from sensory experiences to decision making. As the main control system, your brain regulates your energy, productivity, emotions, performance, creativity, social relationships and above all, health, performance and overall well-being.
Your brain works nonstop — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for your entire life.
Science used to believe that brain health was predetermined by our innate biology and genetic make-up. This meant that those of us born with “good” biology and genes would be able to enjoy good brain health, while those of us less fortunate would be destined to suffer from brain disease. Luckily, advances in research over the past decade have shown that although we are all born with a particular genetic background, genes are not our destiny. Instead, our life experiences and our lifestyle choices can change both how our genes are expressed, and how our brain can function.
The amazing thing about the brain is that it continues to grow and change throughout a person’s lifetime. Our brain has the ability to build and strengthen connections which allows us to optimize brain development, support brain maturation and enhance our ability to stay sharp and engaged, no matter our age. This means it’s never too early or too late to consider the health of our brains.
Lifestyle choices can change how our brain can function.
For the most part, the lifestyle behaviors that contribute to brain health comprise areas we would expect, but there are also some areas that are not so intuitive, like being in nature, having meaning and purpose in life and engaging in positive social interactions.
As with the body, adapting brain healthy lifestyle choices can make the brain more fit. Improving brain health and optimizing brain performance requires variety in routine to stay in great shape, including exercise, a healthy diet, restful sleep, stress resilience, and being socially engaged. All of these can enhance brain health today and into the future.
Healthy mindset leads to brain healthy lifestyle habits.
The following lifestyle behaviors can be trained to build brain fitness, which focuses on being intentional about what we think, feel and do as we interact with our environment.
10 Key Pillars of Brain Health:
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