4 practices to avoid for healthy brain aging

If you follow this blog, you may have gathered that there are numerous ways you can make changes to your lifestyle to promote healthy brain aging. Of course, some of the factors involved in retaining mental sharpness as you age are genetic, but a lot of it has to do with how you live your day-to-day life. Here are a few things that might put you more at risk for mental decline:

  • Living near a major roadway. This isn't exactly a lifestyle factor that you can easily change, but living near a major source of traffic pollution puts you more at risk for mental decline and stroke, according to a study recently published in the journal Stroke.
  • Moderate to binge drinking. A glass of wine or a beer per night probably won't hurt your chances at preserving your mental acuity, but any more than that and you begin to put your brain at risk. A study conducted in 2012 at Rutgers University found that drinking lightly during the week and more on the weekends can lead to decreased adult brain cell production.
  • Not sleeping enough. Getting enough shut-eye is one of the best things you can do for your brain. Studies have found that the less sleep people get, the more prone their brains are to aging and the slower their cognitive function.
  • Sitting too much. Not only is sitting all day bad for your body, it's also been linked to brain shrinkage in older adults. Moreover, regular physical activity has been shown to be good for your brain, so get up off your couch or office chair every once in a while for a nice brisk walk.

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