…but not the kind you think. Anyone who knows me knows I am not into fitness, exercising or any kind of athletic activity at all. I will surf – yes, surf – for funny anti-workout memes on Facebook. I am not proud of this, but I am also not ashamed either (if that makes any sense). One favorite quote relating to my lack of interest in working out comes from Ellen DeGeneres. She once famously said…”I really don’t think I need buns of steel. I’d be happier with buns of cinnamon.”
I do realize the importance of health, however. Recently I have felt good – much better than I have in months. I believe the assurance of a regular paycheck and being back in an actual routine has helped my mind at the very least. Turning fifty-six has me looking a little harder at a lot of things that are health-related. I have been forgetting things lately. Reading and researching I have determined that what has been going on with me can be described as “normal aging.” I felt good when I realized this, but it did make me sit up and take notice. I want to keep my brain in shape. So I began looking for ways to make this happen.
It is important to eat right. Most people know that what they eat is either good or not so good for them. Foods that are good for brain health include blueberries, wild salmon, nuts and seeds, avocados, whole grains and beans. For those who like to snack, dark chocolate is an acceptable choice. In terms of liquids, water is everyone’s best bet. Drinking an adequate amount of water each day will help prevent fluid retention and dehydration. It will also burn stored fat and will control calories. Water intake is good for your skin. Drinking caffeinated beverages and alcohol is also fine – in moderation, unless of course you are restricted from these items. It is also recommended to stay away from foods, etc. that are white in color – which usually means they could be heavily processed. Keep your consumption of salt and sugar low. Again, it is not necessary to really cut these out completely – it is best to limit them as much as possible.
For your brain to get a workout, you have to use it. That sounds silly but it is true. Keeping your brain active ensures that it is moving. Working. It is active. Do puzzles – all different kinds. Something as simple as doing a crossword puzzle gets you thinking. Read – read as much as you can. It can be books, newspapers or online. Read things that might teach you something new. You might pick up a new hobby, or rediscover an old one. Your mind will really get a workout when you try to learn a new language. Think about it – those gears in your brain will be grinding! Another tip is to change hands. When you can, use your less dominant hand to do something you normally don’t use it for. It will challenge your brain if you change up something as simple as using your other hand for the mouse on your computer. I guarantee you won’t do it for a long time, but doing it just for a short bit will kick your brain into a little bit of overdrive.
To keep your brain healthy, you have to rest it. You need to relax and take it easy from time to time. Don’t rush – when you can hang loose – do it. And don’t feel guilty. Take a long, warm shower or lounge in the tub, if that’s what you like. Smile as much as you can, and don’t forget to laugh. Laugh as much as possible (without looking like a fool). Smiling releases endorphins. Endorphins make us happy. Happy people should be with other happy people. Be social. Go out with friends. It doesn’t have to cost anything. A simple walk can boost your spirits. You can make new friends too – volunteer. Volunteer with an organization that will make you as happy as the people (or pets) you are signing up to work with. Indulge in your guilty pleasures, and don’t feel guilty about them. One of my guilty pleasures is watching the Maury show. I enjoy his show so much I traveled to Connecticut – twice – to see it filmed live and in person!
Jeff is very dedicated to working out – I am not. I do realize that I should be a little more motivated. What makes me happiest is being with him and our cats. So to encourage me to be more fit, we are going to start taking walks. I plan on buying a Pet Stroller. Yes, we will be walking the neighborhood with the cats! The stroller will fit two of the bigger ones at a time, and all three kittens can ride together. I’ll be known as the REALLY crazy neighborhood Cat Lady! I don’t mind – it’s a title I will happily accept – because it is true, and it is accurate…
(Photo courtesy of Pinterest.au)