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Keeping Your Brain Stimulated
For those who suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), the oxygen deprivation that comes from restricted breathing can have a negative effect on cognitive health. Often this decline in cognitive function will manifest as a decrease in memory recall, concentration, and other mental functions. However, by focusing on a few crucial areas, it’s possible to make meaningful steps towards maintaining cognitive function.
As you can imagine, a nutritious diet is one of the most important aspects in maintaining physical and cognitive health. When constructing a diet that gives the body the vitamins and minerals it needs, it can be a difficult task finding foods that don’t exacerbate your symptoms. As we’ve mentioned before, maintaining a COPD-healthy diet can be a challenge, but with small changes such as smaller portions, incorporating healthier food options, and avoiding foods that are unhealthy, it is possible to improve both cognitive and physical function.
Studies have shown time and again that healthy exercise is just as important as a healthy diet, and aerobic exercises particularly are known to improve cardiovascular function, allowing better blood flow and oxygen delivery. Although exercising with COPD can be a physically exhausting endeavor, start off slow and work your way up. Begin with a few exercises followed with 15 minutes of stretching and a short walk. Exercise can come in a variety of forms from gardening to simply breathing on the couch, so the important part is to find an activity you enjoy and to be active!
As we’ve mentioned before, maintaining cognitive function is in part a cerebral exercise. Through various games, puzzles, and intellectually engaging endeavors, it is possible to stimulate and improve cognitive function while building mental connectivity. Here are a few tips to enhance your daily routine and keep that brain humming:
- Hit the Hay– Most people need seven hours of uninterrupted sleep to maintain cognitive function, so get to bed early and count those sheep if you want to wake up feeling refreshed.
- Do it different– Break your routine. Try a new dish at a restaurant, walk somewhere you’ve never walked before, look at a familiar object from a new angle. By challenging your perspective, you will challenge your brain and be rewarded for it.
- Daydream– When’s the last time you let yourself get lost in thought? Take a moment to sit down and ponder the simple question “what if” and allow your brain to wander.
If you or a loved one suffers from COPD, or any lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of stem cell treatment options. Contact us at (800) 729-3065 to find out if you qualify for stem cell therapy.
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