21 ways to take care of your brain

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The brain consists of approximately one hundred billion neurons, cells that receive and send signals to and from the brain and the nervous system. It’s daunting to think that this three-pound weight inside the head holds all those cells, plus pockets of memory, emotions, thoughts, and ideas.

And while we research ways to improve our physical health, our digestive tract, and our five-mile run, what are we doing to take care of our brains?Taking care of your brain means taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. Here are 21 ways to do just that!

Over half of the world’s population lives in urban centres—a number expected to rise to over 65 percent by the year 2050. And in an increasingly urbanized world, fewer and fewer of us are spending time outdoors in green spaces such as parks and forests.But even a quick trip to a city park or a suburban conservation centre can have a positive effect on your well-being, attitude, and, ultimately, your brain.

A study led by Japanese researchers at Chiba University sent 84 subjects on nature walks, while the same number of people took an urban stroll. The result? Those exposed to greenery and fresh air saw a 16 percent decrease in cortisol, the stress hormone.

Other research shows that exposing yourself to nature lessens feelings of anxiety and also aids memory and deep thinking.Perhaps Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime minister of Singapore, had it right when he said, “A concrete jungle destroys the human spirit.”

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