The media is full of messages concerning physical exercise
and fitness, but do you ever hear a message about
effectively exercising your brain?

Worry over general health spurs physical action and should
include a routine for sustaining a healthy brain. When you
start forgetting little things, a common fear is that
Alzheimer’s Disease is developing. This is far from true. In
fact, most loss of memory has more to do with the
medications you may be taking or lack or proper rest and
nothing to do with Alzheimer’s.

Don’t worry! You can exercise your brain, same as your body,
to effectively improve your general health and push back the
aging process.

Incorporate the 7 steps to a healthy brain, developed by Dr.
Isadore Rosenfeld of Fox News Channel, into your daily

1. Keep blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels
in the “normal” range.

Normal blood pressure values fall into the following
categories: Less than 120 systolic and less than 80
diastolic. This would typically be phrased as 120/80.

The peak pressure that occurs within the arteries is
systolic pressure. The moment of lowest pressure within
those same arteries is called diastolic pressure. Pressure
within the circulatory system is not fixed. It fluctuates
throughout the day and as often as beat by beat of the

2. Sleep adequately.

Studies have shown that sleep deprivation affects the immune
system and hinders the healing process.

In 2007, a study on lack of sleep during a continuous period
of time was found to have a strong negative affect on
working memory. Your working memory is like the RAM of a
computer. It holds information for further processing and
easy access. Working memory also sustains decision making
and reasoning functions.

3. Enjoy a good breakfast every morning and try to add more
Omega-6 and Omega-3 to your diet.

Both are important to brain function and not present enough
in the average diet. In fact a study on Parkinson’s Disease
showed that high doses of Omega-3 created a protective
effect in the same way it did for Alzheimer’s and is now the
basis of additional study for prevention of Parkinson’s.

4. Consume more fruits and vegetables.

Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are part of a
healthy diet. They contain fiber, vitamins and minerals
essential to good health. Consuming generous amounts of both
reduce the risk of chronic disease, cardiovascular disease,
stroke and some cancers.

5. Make time for reading every day, a magazine or the
newspaper or do puzzles like crosswords and sudoku.

The British Association Festival of Science reported that
doing crosswords and sukodu puzzles helped seniors keep
their brains younger. In some cases, as much as 14 years.

By reading new concepts and ideas we learn and our brains
start to make connections and see these concepts in everyday
life stimulating brain health.

6. Avoid drinking too much alcohol.

Alcoholics in treatment have been studied and show that
excessive consumption of alcohol adversely affects the
brain’s ability to think abstractly and remember difficult
tasks and concepts however, the IQ of an alcoholic did not
decrease. Though there is no clear evidence, some studies
show that even moderate consumption of alcohol shrinks the
brain which harms cognitive functions.

7. Physical exercise every day for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Exercise fuels growth of blood vessels connected to the
brain and new brain cells. This adds to mental alertness,
especially if you are over 60.

The Department of Health and Human Services and the
Department of Agriculture note that a minimum of 30 minutes
of daily physical exercise can reduce the risk of chronic
diseases in adulthood.

Modern medicine has allowed us to live longer, but a
proactive approach to brain health is essential to make that
long life healthy and happy.

If you follow the 7 Steps to a Healthy Brain, you’re on the
road to feeling good both physically and mentally. Keep
sharp and productive and improve your life. Why not start