Tips to Improve Brain Health

Julie Fitzpatrick, DPT Physical Therapist and Wellness Specialist

Did you know that your brain can improve throughout your life?

Here are a few lifestyle tips to help you build a better brain! 

Move:  Regular exercise promotes the growth of brain cells and helps promote blood flow to the brain which helps improve learning and memory! It also helps reduce stress, promotes a good mood and decreases the risk of depression and anxiety.  

  • Exercise 3-5x a week for at least 30-45 minutes for a total of 150 minutes a week.
  • Increase movement throughout the day: take the stairs, park a little farther from your destination, stand at your workstation, walk during breaks 
  • A brisk walk with a close friend is one of the best ways to nurture your brain. The exercise benefits along with the social interaction that comes from a positive relationship, supports well-being and brain health!   

Nourish:  Fueling your brain and body with the right foods and eliminating the wrong ones can improve your brain health!  

  • Did you know your brain is 80% water? Hydrating is critical to your brain health and overall health! Eight 12 oz glasses of water a day is a great goal. 
  • Eating foods rich in antioxidants is an excellent way to improve cognition and slow brain aging.Berries are full of antioxidants and research has shown that even two or more servings a week can boost memory! 
  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids are major building blocks of the brain crucial to brain and nervous system function. They also have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Salmon, Avocados, Walnuts, Almonds are great sources. 
  • Excessive sugar is detrimental to the brain ultimately affecting attention span, short term memory and mod stability. Slash the foods and drinks that have refined sugar to boost your brain health! Some examples include soft drinks, sweets and baked goods, and simple carbs such as white breads. 

Sleep:   Sleep keeps the brain healthy by clearing out toxins that naturally build up throughout the day. It also takes your experiences and consolidates them into memories. 

  • Most adults need 7 – 9 hours of sleep a night. Pay attention to how you feel during the day to determine whether you’re getting the right amount for you. If you are sleeping enough you should feel energized during the day.                     

To learn more about how you can improve your brain health, and your overall health and wellness through PRA’s Get Healthy PT Program, contact Julie Fitzpatrick, PT & Wellness Specialist.  319-339-3611 mailto:jfitzpartick@praiowa.com