How to Support a Healthy Brain

Why is brain health so important?

Improving your brain health has many positive health outcomes, including reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It can also improve health outcomes for those currently living with the disease. A combination of social activities and healthy habits, when done together, can help preserve and protect brain health.


Ways to improve brain health

Exercise Regularly

Daily cardiovascular exercise increases blood flow to the brain and body, which helps maintain overall health. Making a habit of exercising as little as 15–30 minutes per day* can make a difference.

Quit Smoking

Cigarette smoking is associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults. Smoking can have many negative impacts on cardiovascular and respiratory health, but in particular, is associated with an increase of gray matter atrophy in the brain.**

Keep on Learning

Keeping an active mind through continuous education, reading, or other stimulus activities can help reduce cognitive decline.

Keep your Heart Healthy

Risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke — obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes — can negatively impact your cognitive health.

Protect your Brain

Brain injury can raise your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Wear a seat belt, use a helmet when playing contact sports or riding a bike, and take steps to prevent falls.

Eat a Balanced Diet

High blood sugar and a high-fat diet can increase your risk for cognitive decline.

Get Enough Rest

Not getting enough sleep due to conditions like insomnia or sleep apnea may result in problems with memory and thinking.

Mental Health is Tied to Brain Health

Some studies link a history of depression with an increased risk of cognitive decline, so seek medical treatment if you have symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns.

Stay Social

Interacting with family and friends is another way to keep your mind active and engaged. Consider volunteering or joining a community group to stay independent and social.

Continue to Challenge your Mind

Activities that help you think strategically are a great way to exercise your brain. Puzzles and games are great options.