The brain has a significant impact on your daily well-being as it controls all the major functions of your body. It helps keep you alert, energized, focused, and supports your mental health. We have already covered in our Braincare Journal, Why you should integrate Braincare into your daily life and how you can use it to enhance your well-being. Routines are integral and some basic principles may help you in keeping your brain fit and healthy.
Research shows that paying attention to our lifestyle improves the health of our brains and can reduce the risk of dementia and other age-related cognitive impairments.
For example, eliminating bad habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, as well as eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting plenty of physical activity, can contribute to the health of our brains and reduce the risk of disease in the long term.
To help you to integrate Braincare into your daily life, we have defined the 5 pillars of Braincare:
- Hydration & Nutrition
- Selfcare & Mindfulness
- Relaxation & Sleep
- Sports & Exercise
- Learning & Digital Diet
1. Hydration & Nutrition
Let's start with the apparently simplest thing: drink enough water. Men need 2-3 Liters of water per day (depending on body weight). For every tea, coffee or alcoholic beverage, a glass extra 🤯.
Our brain is quite thirsty. If we are 1-3% dehydrated, it already affects our concentration and memory. An important rule is: You only notice that you are dehydrated when your lips are dry or you are thirsty, then you’re way more than 3% dehydrated!
💧 Our Recommendations:
- Put a big glass of water next to your bed and drink it first thing in the morning when you wake up. This way you start the day with more energy..
- Buy a water bottle, at best 1L, then it will be easy for you to drink enough water. Alternatively, you can always have a large water jug on your desk.
Research suggests that a Mediterranean diet, called the MIND diet, boosts our memory and prevents neurodegenerative diseases like dementia.
For example, you should eat the following:
🥬 5x per week green, leafy vegetables
🥕 5+ different coloured fruits and vegetables daily
🫐 5x per week berries
☀️ sufficient vitamin D
🌭 ❌ Minimally processed foods
2. Selfcare & Mindfulness
Selfcare for men
What is Selfcare? Selfcare for men means to actively take care of one's own well-being and happiness, especially in times of extensive workload and stress. Selfcare is something very individual, where every man has to find out for himself what is beneficial for him.
We have a few ideas for starting your new selfcare routine:
🧘🏻♂️ Take half an hour to an hour a day where you allow nothing to distract you. Turn off your notifications on your phone or even use flight mode to focus only on you and the moment.
🕺🏻 How about spending your lunch break dancing, singing or being a little creative?
🌶 When was the last time you got intimate? With you or your partner. Make time for quality time and talk openly with your partner about your needs and desires.
"Mindfulness is about being physically and mentally present in the here and now"
Mindfulness can be practiced through a great variety of actions. From showing gratitude and journaling, to a workout or just a walk in nature. The most important thing is to be present in the moment!
Another way to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life is meditation. It helps you train your brain and become more mindful in other areas of your life as well. Meta-studies have proven the effect of meditation on the nervous system and on the brain. From regulating the stress response, to thickening the gray matter in the areas of attention and emotion regulation.
We've put together a simple guide for you on how to integrate mindfulness into your everyday life.
3. Relaxation & Sleep
Many of us are under constant stress. We are juggling work, deadlines, social life, admin, household tasks and much more. This can trigger stress reactions several times a day. For this reason, relaxation is essential. But that doesn't mean you have to lay on the couch for 30 minutes straight. You can achieve relaxation by breathing consciously!
Our breathing does not require conscious thought. It just happens, but it is directly related to our emotional state or an everyday situation. When you are stressed, you probably breathe faster, shallower, and only in the chest area. This way of breathing is very stressful for your nervous system because it triggers a stress response that puts it in a reactive state. You can quickly respond to this stress response by paying attention to your breathing and consciously slowing it down.
You can do the following easy but effective exercise to help you relax:
⏱ Take 1 minute and slowly breathe deeply in and out.
🔁 Repeat this process up to 6 times. Over the course of these repetitions, your breathing will regulate.
💆🏼♂️ Repeat this exercise as many times as it feels good to you. Maybe even implement it into your daily de-stressing self-care routine?
Did you know that we humans can survive longer without food than without sleep? Evolution paints a very clear picture of how important sleep is to our brains. Our brain's instructions to have daily breaks to rest are hard-wired into our DNA.
It is especially important for the busiest among us to get the suggested 7-9 hours of sleep. We need to stop thinking of sleep as just shutting down. Because the reverse is the case. Sleep is an active process that not only allows the body to recover, but also regenerates the brain and increases its performance. In other words it is essential for a healthy brain. Even a 10-minute nap can improve your mood and memory.
We've gathered 5 facts about healthy sleep for you that you may find interesting.
4. Sports & Exercise
Keeping yourself fit is not only good for your body, but also for your brain. Regular exercise and fitness have a positive effect on blood pressure, promote blood flow and the formation of blood vessels that supply the brain with oxygen.
In fact, our bodies and brains are designed to move regularly throughout the day. This doesn't necessarily mean exercising alone. Walking is also an easy way to keep your brain fit throughout the day. Lots of regular, steady, rhythmic walking throughout the day stimulates the production of molecules that promote brain health and even make it resistant to the effects of chronic stress.
5. Learning & Digital Diet
Continuous learning throughout your life is a great way to promote neuroplasticity - the brain's ability to change and adapt. That's important because a flexible brain is more:
- Capable of to learning and acquiring new skills
- Recover from brain injury or disease
- Adapt to new situations
- Recall memories
- Protect itself from cognitive decline
Learning something new provides an opportunity to create a new neural connections in the brain and is therefore of great importance.
As important as it is to challenge your brain on a daily basis to keep it fit. Taking breaks is just as crucial. As our lives have become increasingly digitized, we rarely take breaks and instead spend a great deal of time on our phones, laptops or tablets.
Apps, notifications, fitness trackers. The way we consume social media has a huge impact on our brains. When we look at Digital Diet from a braincare perspective, it essentially means that we should be mindful of what we consume.
For example, it might look like this for you:
- Make sure you spend enough time during the day without a screen
- Unfollow social media accounts that don't make you feel good about yourself
- Consciously divide your work and free time, so they don't overlap
- Try to be aware of your relationships with technology and the gadgets you use
- Use different tech devices for work and leisure
We want to take care of your brain's performance together with you. We created NOUMEN Braincare to help you with your routine and provide your brain with all the necessary ingredients it needs to function properly.
Soon we will launch our products and look forward to actively shaping the future of Selfcare with you. If you have any tips, ideas or suggestions, feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, remember:
Be consistent, man.