Ah, those lazy, hazy days of summer. Think vacations. Think school breaks. It seems like a good time for the entire family to just chill and not do any heavy mental lifting.
As tempting as that may sound, however, maintaining good brain health is a year round activity. Here are a few fun and easy ways to help keep everyone’s brain healthy this summer:
Head outside with the kids for some hiking or biking—aerobic exercise gets the heart pumping. That helps keep the brain fed with a healthy supply of blood and oxygen. It can even spur production of new brain cells, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. One large study linked fitness in midlife with a reduced risk for dementia in older age.
Just make sure all bike riders wear a helmet—it helps protect the brain from trauma in case of an accident or fall.
Be a Brainiac
Read a book while lounging at the beach. Break out word games for family game night. Forcing yourself to think can add new brain cells and solidify their connections.
Serve Some Food for Thought
Summer is the perfect time to head to your local farmers market. Diets high in fruits and vegetables are brain pleasers. Stock up on a rainbow of colors, including:
- Berries—blue, black and red.
- Cherries and plums.
- Dark-colored vegetables, like kale, spinach, broccoli and beets.
Also, when firing up the grill, throw on some salmon, trout, mackerel or other fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the brain.
Finally, don’t forget that all-time favorite summer food—corn on the cob. Don’t slather it with butter and salt: Heart-healthy diets that limit saturated fat and sodium may also protect against dementia.
Source: Alzheimer’s Association