Brain Health 101
Here's What You'll Learn
Research is finding that a variety of strategies — exercising regularly, eating a brain-healthy diet, getting quality sleep, socializing with friends and family, engaging the brain and reducing stress — make a big difference in helping to keep our brains healthy. Neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, M.D., helps you explore the six pillars of brain health that research shows can help keep minds active and preserve memories as people age.
Sanjay Gupta, M.D., is the author of Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age, based in part on the work of AARP’s Global Council on Brain Health (published by Simon & Schuster in cooperation with AARP).
Sanjay Gupta: My patients often ask me if there's anything they can do to help their brains as they get older. I tell them yes. You can change your brain, and you can change your path to better brain health.
The brain is remarkably resilient and dynamic, and growing and learning and changing. My first time seeing a living human brain was such a powerful experience for me. I looked down in awe as I thought about how much of what we are, and who we'll become and how we interpret the world exists in that intricately woven bundle of tissue.
Our experiences can drive meaningful change in the brain. Creating strengthening neuropathways, which can protect the brain and its function.
The goal of the Brain Health 101 Challenge is to empower you with the knowledge that your brain can be improved throughout the course of your life. No matter when you start, no matter where you come from.
Staying Sharp is built on six key science-based brain health pillars. Through interactive content and video, you're going to learn why these pillars are important to your brain health, and how to incorporate better habits into your life.
This challenge is organized for you to tackle one pillar at a time. Let's take a look:
Ongoing Exercise. Get moving. Exercise boosts the vascular nervous systems, which sustain brain health.
Eat Right. A healthy diet is key to maintaining optimal brain function.
Engage Your Brain. Challenge yourself, learn new things, stay curious, explore.
Restorative Sleep. Go to bed. Scientists believe quality restorative sleep allows your brain to organize experiences, strengthen memories, and rid the brain of toxins.
Manage Stress. Recognize the difference between good stress, which can be motivating, and bad stress, which can be physically harmful by contributing to things like high blood pressure and anxiety. Practice meditation and mindfulness Maybe add some yoga into your workout routine. All things that can help reduce anxiety and tension.
Be Social. Staying connected to people is a proven way to support your brain health. By focusing on these simple steps, you may sleep better, you may feel more relaxed, more connected. And have more energy to live your best life.