Healthy cognitive functions are the key to enjoying a full and happy life. Like everything else in our bodies, unfortunately, brain functions reach a peak at around age 35 and then start to decline, with year-on-year decreases in memory, reasoning, concentration, and response time.
Many people seek to increase brain functions through various supplements and drugs – heavy doses of caffeine being the most popular, but also a wide range of nootropics, such as Pirazetam and Noopept.
Most of these therapies are unproven and may be risky. However, there are many ways in which people can improve their brain functions naturally, through a combination of exercise, diet, sleep and complementary wellness solutions, such as sessions or “dives” in a hyperbaric chamber.
By adopting these healthy lifestyle habits and solutions, you can maximise your cognitive abilities at any age and reduce the impact of age-related decline.
1) Keep Your Brain Active
‘Use it or lose it’ is true when it comes to brain functions, especially as we age. There are many ways to stimulate the brain, so choose an activity you enjoy. Try your hand at mental puzzles, Sudokus, or crosswords, or word games, board games, or art. All are useful and enjoyable ways of keeping your brain supple.
2) Exercise More
Exercise is one of the best ways to increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, to restore damaged neurons and increase mental clarity. Exercise can involve any moderate physical activity, so long as it gets your heart rate up above its resting level for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. A brisk walk, swim, or gentle cycle is a good place to start, or, of course, there are any number of sports you could take up.
3) Enjoy A Healthy, Balanced Diet
Your brain is as much affected by the food you eat as any other part of your body, and what affects the brain affects your mind and mental capabilities. Foods that are rich in protein and healthy fats – including omega-3 oils – are great for sustaining brain health. Fish and lean red meat fall under this category, but if you are vegetarian or vegan, pulses are equally as good. Try to avoid or reduce your intake of heavily processed and sugar-rich foods, as well as hydrogenated fats. If you’re concerned about not getting the vitamins and minerals you need, you may want to supplement your diet with high quality vitamins.
4) Try Hyperbaric Chamber Wellness
Using a mild hyperbaric chamber on a regular basis can be a good way of increasing the flow of oxygen to the brain, and of increasing brain functions naturally. A hyperbaric chamber creates a mildly pressurised environment (equivalent to being around 3 m underwater), that compresses oxygen molecules and thereby increases oxygen intake through the blood and the plasma. This allows oxygen to reach parts of the brain that may be deprived aren’t always given priority by the body, restoring neural connections and repairing damage.
Hyperbaric wellness is also reported to be a powerful relaxant, helping users reduce stress and fatigue naturally, while maintaining mental alertness. Once the preserve of Hollywood celebrities, hyperbaric wellness is now popular among a wider section of society
, thanks to safe, portable and affordable hyperbaric devices, and endorsements from respected doctors and scientists and health experts such as American psychiatrist and brain expert, Dr Daniel Amen; founder of the #1 natural health website Dr. Joseph Mercola; and biohacking guru and Bulletproof founder Dave Asprey just to name a few.
5) Take Up Mindfulness Or Meditation
Focusing your attention on the present moment through mindfulness or meditation practices is an effective way of both sustaining long-term cognitive abilities, and of managing a wide range of mental health problems. There are dozens of simple techniques you can try, from merely focusing on the breath, to mantras, various breathing techniques, and mindful stretching practices (such as yoga, Pilates, tai chi, or dance). Just a few minutes of mindfulness meditation a day is often enough to help people feel more present in their life and improve their mental well-being.
6) Reduce Alcohol Intake
Drinking too much alcohol decreases mental functions in the short term by compromising memory retention and giving you a foggy feeling that makes it hard to concentrate. It also has long-term implications for cognitive decline and is linked to various mental health and ageing -related diseases. Occasionally and in moderation, for some alcohol is tolerable but try not to drink every day, and if you do have a drink, cut down your units by interspersing alcoholic drinks with water.
Find Out More
There is no one single way to improve brain function but, as we have seen, there are many activities people can undertake to enhance their lifestyle and health, while fitting in with their family and work commitments. To find out more about how a home hyperbaric chamber may help improve your health and increase your mental wellness, have a chat with one of our specialists today.
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