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Resolve to Live a Brain Healthy Life

You survived 2020! If exercising more and losing weight top your list of resolutions for 2021, congratulations—you have resolved to live a brain healthy life.

Presented by Brain Health Initiative January 4, 2021

A healthy diet is the starting place for successful, long-term weight loss. Here are some guidelines for a brain healthy diet that promotes weight loss.

  • Follow a Mediterranean diet. Rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and healthy fats, this diet promotes physical and brain health.
  • Eat healthy snacks. Avoid unhealthy foods that are high in saturated fat, sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed food products.
  • Drink lots of water. Drink six to eight glasses of water daily, and avoid sugary beverages.
  • Eat nutrient-rich foods. Shop the outer aisles of the grocery store for vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, fish, whole grains, and nuts.
  • Get healthy takeout. Avoid fast food, and support local restaurants using locally sourced meat and produce instead.
  • Limit alcohol.

As with diet, exercise that is good for your body is good for your brain. It improves blood flow to and within the brain, providing the oxygen and nutrients it needs for optimal health and performance. And remember, some exercise is better than none.

  • Walk. Get outside and take a brisk walk. Walking is great exercise, and no special equipment is required. Just make sure to practice physical distancing.
  • Bike. Florida provides an ideal environment for riding a bike—no hills! Set a leisurely pace, and enjoy the scenery.
  • Swim. Swimming is great low-impact exercise, and if your pool is heated you can swim year-round.
  • Stand up and move. Instead of sitting at your desk all day, stand up! If you are working remotely, get up and dance, skip, hula-hoop, gallop, walk backwards and sideways. If you’re at work, grab a friend and get out of the office for a few minutes.

Each month, the BHI shares the science behind a different brain health pillar and information about how to practically apply this science to the daily life of you and your family. If you are looking for more information about how to live a brain healthy lifestyle, check out our Brain Health Boosts archive at brainhealthinitiative.org/outreach/brain-boosts/. To learn more about the Brain Health Initiative and to become a Brain Health Champion, visit brainhealthinitiative.org.

The Brain Health Initiative needs your participation!

There’s still time to participate in the Brain Health Initiative Pilot Study. If you received one of the invitations sent to randomly selected adult residents from Lakewood Ranch, we encourage you to complete the online survey. The pilot study examines the ways you function mentally, socially, cognitively, and overall, as well as the factors in your life that present risk or promote resilience in brain health and performance. Community participation is critical to the study’s success.

Brain health matters

The Brain Health Initiative (BHI) is a cutting-edge approach to protecting brain health, optimizing brain performance, and fighting brain illness across the lifespan. The BHI is creating a culture that promotes brain health protective factors and decreases risk factors, thereby improving brain health and optimizing brain performance outcomes for the Florida Suncoast region and beyond. Join the brain health movement, because brain health matters, and lifestyle makes a difference.

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