A healthy heart has many benefits, but did you know that a healthy brain is one of them?Brain health and heart health are closely connected, and forging healthy lifestyle habits at any age will help keep both your brain and your heart at peak performance.
According to a recent survey from the American Heart Association, the greatest challenges adults in the United States face to maintain heart and brain health are stress and poor diet.
The American Heart Association conducted a market research survey of 2,000 adults across three age groups, including Generation X (aged 40-54 years), Millennials (ages 23-39 years), and Generation Z (18-22 years). The survey found that, overall, fewer than half of the adults surveyed rated their brain health as “very good or excellent.” The same survey also found that 1 in 4 respondents said they were unaware of the connection between heart health and brain health.
In addition, the youngest adults (Generation Z) reported significantly lower levels of emotional well-being and brain health compared to older generations.
But it is never too early or too late to try these tips to improve your health.
- Eat smart. Research suggests that a cup of greens each day may slow brain aging and eating fish such as tuna and salmon can help maintain emotional balance and reduce inflammation from heart disease.
- Sleep well. Sleep lets the brain learn and grow; aim for seven to nine hours a night for optimal health and to allow your brain to process all of the thinking and learning from a day.
- Get moving. Physical activity is as good for the brain as it is for the whole body. Data shows that exercise increases a protein in the brain that impacts learning and memory. Aim to be active for 150 minutes per week to reap the benefits of a stronger body and mind. In essence, the more you move, the healthier your brain.
- Stay connected. Making social connections strengthens the brain, so make time for your friends and family. Make it a priority to connect with someone at least once a week, whether in person or by phone.
The American Heart Association is the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health.Visit heart.org for more information and tips from the American Heart Association on living a longer and healthier life.