5 Lifestyle Factors That Contribute to a Decline in Brain Function
Your lifestyle can contribute to either having a healthy brain that functions well – or cause your brain to decline in powers such as memory, cognitive and focus. Bad habits such as eating a poor diet, too much alcohol, stress and not getting enough sleep can greatly affect the brain’s function and become worse as you age.
Some lifestyle factors which can affect your brain function and cause it to decline are:
- Lack of exercise – If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you risk a decline in brain function as well as a decline in your physical health. It all works together – if your body isn’t physically fit, your brain will suffer because of a lack of stimulation that produces healthy endorphins.
Studies have shown that physical activity is connected to mental sharpness and a healthy flow of blood through the circulatory system, which includes the brain.
- Poor diet choices – Another benefit of a healthy diet besides keeping your weight at a desirable level is that the nutrients you enjoy affect the brain by fighting against free radicals that cause inflammation and deterioration of brain functions.
Obesity and bad health from a poor diet may result in long-term diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. A diet such as the Mediterranean is well rounded and keeps the oxygen flowing uninhibited through the pathways of the brain.
- Lack of sleep – Sleep may become a problem – especially as you age. It can be caused from responsibilities which keep you up and going, stress that keeps you thinking negative thoughts or physical or mental impairments.
Lack of sleep can greatly affect your brain function by causing lack of focus, memory loss, irritability and fatigue. Your brain performs poorly when these factors keep you from getting enough sleep.
- Lack of socialization and feelings of isolation – These two lifestyle factors go hand-in-hand when a person isolates himself and doesn’t socialize with friends and family.
This lifestyle usually happens as you age, retirement occurs and friends and family drift away or pass away. Illness may also be a factor in this type of lifestyle and both can cause the brain to deteriorate.
- Too much stress – Stress can come in many forms, but if it lasts too long and is very severe, it can begin to cause both physical and mental problems. Think about ways you can alter your lifestyle to get rid of some stress in your life.
Take time for your brain to rest and rejuvenate itself. You’ll find that your focus and cognitive powers will be improved – and your brain will have the energy to function as it should.
Other bad habits that might contribute to a decline in brain function include smoking and drinking alcohol in excess. Check your lifestyle to see if your brain may be suffering some decline because of bad habits you’ve developed.