Learn 3 Ways to Improve Body and Brain Health

You just left your neurologist’s office and were encouraged to exercise more, eat a heart-healthy diet, and stop smoking for better body and brain health. You just got to work or home and this is all you could remember, but you may have already forgotten the 3 ways your neurologist mentioned on how you may want to go about doing that.

Instead of calling your neurology office in Las Vegas for answers or waiting for a copy of the report, you may want to read below and learn the 3 ways to improve your body and brain health. The following tips are in no specific order.

Way Number 1

Your neurologist didn’t just say to eat more heart-healthy foods, he or she mentioned to eat more heart-healthy foods by incorporating a Mediterranean diet into your daily eating.

What is a Mediterranean diet? As per the American Diabetes Association web page “The Basics of Mediterranean-Style Eating”, the “Mediterranean cuisine is plant-based” and also notes that:

“The majority of the foods in a Mediterranean diet come from plants. Think about it: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, beans, nuts, seeds, and olive oil are all foods that are included every day. There is a large focus on including seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables.”

If you enter the following keywords into most online search engines you will most likely get some relevant search results for your further research.

Keywords “Mediterranean diet”

Why do neurologists mention the Mediterranean diet?

Your neurologist may mention the benefits of a Mediterranean diet since some of the benefits are associated with neurological conditions they see or treat, for example, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. You can read more about this at the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research on the web page “Mediterranean diet: A heart-healthy eating plan”.

 

Way Number 2

The neurologist didn’t just say exercise more, he or she mentioned to exercise more by taking 10,000 steps a day. What is 10,000 steps a day? This is about the distance of 4-5 miles using physical exercise by walking or brisk walking.

If you enter the following keywords into most online search engines you will most likely get some relevant search results for your further research.

Keywords “10,000 steps for brain health”

Why 10,000 steps? This may have come out of Japan in the mid-1960s. As per the article, Counting every step you take published on the website of Harvard University it was noted that:

“Pedometers were first used to promote physical activity on a large-scale basis in the mid-1960s in Japan. Walking clubs had sprung up in the country, and a company there began making a pedometer it called Manpo-kei, which means ‘10,000 steps meter.’ So while the 10,000 step goal is a good one, it was picked partly because it made for a catchy name.”

That article provides more helpful information and resources on use of pedometers, walking goals, and more.

What is a good walking duration?

There seems to be a consensus that taking consecutive steps for around 10 minutes is important. While you will most likely not complete 4-5 miles in about 10 minutes, the goal here is to sustain a certain continual pace for a duration to get your heart rate up.

This is like “warming up” your entire body at the gym prior to starting a weight training program. The more in shape your cardiovascular system is the longer your consecutive step duration may need to be. This is in part because your body is already use to that amount of heart rate stress and needs more to respond.

If you’re just starting out in a walking program, speed and distance may not be as important as maintaining the speed that you can personally maintain for a consecutive step duration and doing this daily. You may already know or need to first determine how many steps to take per day. Then just continually increase that number until you get to about 10,000 or more.

What is a good walking pace?

For some people this may be at a pace of 2-2.5 miles per hour. For others, it may be more or less. If you have access to a treadmill for just a few moments, you can determine a walking pace that is good for you. This may be at a pace just before you start to move back on the treadmill belt and need to grasp the support rails to prevent yourself from sliding off. If you do not have access to a treadmill you can try the Rules of Thumb for Walking Speed resource at verywell.com.

How can you track the number of steps you take?

You can track the number of steps you take by whatever means works best for you. Most wearable technology like a mobile phone or smart watch may be able to do this for you. Maybe you already have a pedometer and just need to dust it off and put a new battery in it. Maybe you prefer to challenge yourself and mentally count the number of steps it takes you to walk between two familiar positions near your home or work then just estimate the number of steps by multiplying that by how many times you traverse that distance. Only you can determine the best way to track your steps as you may want it to be consistent for optimum results.

 

Way Number 3

Your neurologist didn’t just say to quit or stop smoking, he or she mentioned to look into a proven cessation program to assist you to kick the habit. Another good option is to work with your primary care physician for this and for your overall health. Your home state or local city government may have such a program or additional resources.

In Nevada you have a few resources, some of them include, but not limited to following are:

The Nevada Tobacco Quitline. Per their website, this program offers FREE telephone-based service to Nevada residents 13 years or older. Through this telephone program, you can receive a free supply of nicotine replacement patches, gum, or lozenges (for those 18 years and older). Coaches will determine if you are eligible to receive the nicotine replacement therapy.

Nevada Tobacco Quitline Resources:

1-800-QUIT NOW or 1-800-784-8669 (Mon-Sun 4 am – 10 pm PST)

https://nevada.quitlogix.org/

Another program is the American Lung Association Freedom From Smoking (FFS), American Lung Association’s adult cessation program, guides individuals through the quitting process with eight sessions over a 7-week period.

Go to the website Get Healthy Clark County and you will find these and more cessation resources or contact your primary care physician for other local resources.

Medical or health related content is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by Clinical Neurology Specialists West, staff or partners. Information on exercise, eating, or any health care should be obtained through consultation with your doctor who has seen and examined you in association with a optimal overall health care plan or program.

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2018-09-23T04:39:22+00:00