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Did you know that moving your arms and legs is good for your brain? Physical activity nourishes the brain by boosting blood circulation. Exercise also releases chemicals that can ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve memory. If you suffer from any condition that restricts your movement or your ability to be active then Dorval Physiotherapy can aim to not only improve your mobility through appropriate physiotherapy but also by developing a personalized exercise regime.

Lead Active Social Life

Spending social time with friends and family is known to protect the brain against depression, stress and memory loss (such as Alzheimer’s). Enjoy dinner and movie nights out, or sign up for art or dance lessons. Volunteer in the community. Did you know volunteering has been linked to better brain function in older adults?

Protect your Head

As you engage in exercise and active social life, don’t forget to protect your head. A team of Canadian scientists has found that concussions can change your brain function for months or years, even if you don’t notice symptoms. Concussions may also increase the risk for depression and dementia later in life.

Exercise your Brain

You can keep your brain ‘agile’ with stimulating activities like puzzles (such as Sudoku), board games and journal writing. Video games that involve multitasking may help with memory and attention. A variety of activities, especially new challenges, are beneficial in order to give all parts of your brain a workout.

Explore your Musical Side

Learning how to play a musical instrument challenges your brain. But there’s more to music: it is a proven therapy for mental conditions like anxiety, dementia and post-traumatic stress disorder. For children, musical training appears to help with language learning, memory and attention, and studies of the effect of music on seniors point to improved mood and mental function.

Meditate Regularly

A small study at the University of California showed that people who meditate over the long term have better brain connections and less brain shrinkage. Other research also points to structural brain differences in the brains of people who meditate and there is ongoing research of the positive effects of meditation on mental health and function. Techniques such as the Mindfulness Technique, introduced by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, have proven particularly beneficial.

Get enough Sleep

Scientists are now discovering that sleep is the brain’s self-cleaning time. During sleep, brain cells shrink to make room for an increased flow of fluid, and toxins that have accumulated during the day are washed away. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep a night.

(this article has been adapted from Healthy Lifestyles, Novus Health)

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