Sligo Lend a Hand and Muintir Na Tire Would like to thank everyone for attending Hello Brain, and making the evening a success.
The evening started off with Prof. Sabina Brennan explaining that modifiable lifestyle factors can help to protect brain health and function. Your brain is one of the most complex systems we know, and as with all living things, the environment affects how it works.
For your brain, that environment is how you live, how physically active you are, how much you engage with other people, how you sleep and eat, and whether you occupy your brain with tasks that can strengthen it.
Just as you can strengthen your muscles by lifting weights, there are steps you can take to strengthen your brain, protecting it from the damage of aging and disease. We can kick start improvements ourselves by taking positive steps. Regular exercise like taking a brisk walk or physical activities like gardening can nourish our brains and recharge its batteries. Medical studies reveal the fitter you are, the healthier your brain becomes. Exercising 3 times a week in people aged over 65 has been linked with a reduced risk of developing dementia.
Yet another way to top up memory and all round brain health is to put your mind in gear with mental stimulation. This is the secret to staying young in mind. This involves challenging your brain. Everyday activities such as going to work, playing cards, and playing music count. Just make sure it’s a little difficult. You should not be able to do it on autopilot, yet still enjoyable.
Interacting with other people gives them great sustenance in terms of brain health. Getting involved in more social activities can be rewarding in itself, but it can also lower you risk of dementia. It was found in one study to be associated with a 38% lower risk developing dementia in people over 65. Activities included going to clubs, visiting friends and being visited, and community or volunteer work. Just ten minutes of social interaction can greatly increase your brain performance.
Change your attitude, manage stress, think young, think positive. Learning to keep stress on a short leash will benefit your physical and mental health. Often our mind can be mobbed by worries and we can find it difficult to focus on the task at hand. By focusing in the present moment, concentrating on what is happening here and now we can shrug off worries. One of the best ways to reduce stress is to talk to someone about how you feel. This can knock our worries down to size, and give us a sense of relief.
Like the heart the brain benefits from a diet low in saturated fats and high in brightly coloured fruits and vegetables. Avoid too much drinking, and smoking. The brain requires restful sleep to run smoothly and sleep can even boost our power of recall. Sleep allows our brain to process all the information it has gathered during the day.
Prof Sabina Brennan reminds us just as we brush our teeth every day to keep them healthy, we can take steps every day to keep our brain healthy.
Top steps to keep our brain healthy every day
Get physically active.
Stay socially engaged
Challenge your brain
Manage stress, Think young, and think positive.
Adapt your lifestyle to protect your brain
For more information. Please visit Hellobrain.eu
Sligo Lend a Hand is a free service provided by a pool of voluntary handypersons and helpers. The service includes minor repairs and small jobs inside and outside of the home. The emphasis is that no job is too small. The coordinator receives the calls and organises volunteers to carry out the work following service protocols.
Sligo Lend a hand is managed by a steering committee of locally based community organisations and service providers. It is our mission to provide services to vulnerable and older people in their homes, supporting them in their desire to maintain independence, in the community, in increased comfort and safety.