The Center for Brain/Mind Medicine > Keys to Healthy Living

Brain Health

Lifestyle Changes to Boost Resilience

You can improve your brain’s resilience to a neurologic disease by attending to lifestyle factors that promote brain health.  Research has shown that what you eat and drink, how much you exercise, how well you sleep, the way you socialize, and how you manage stress are all critically important to your brain health.

The Pillars of Brain Health

Physical Exercise

Exercise improves blood flow and stimulates chemical changes in the brain that enhance learning, mood, and thinking.

6 Pillars of Brain Health – Physical Exercise
Exercise can boost your memory and thinking skills – Harvard Health

Food & Nutrition

Harmful stress due to age, disease, lifestyle, and environmental factors can result in a process called oxidation, which damages brain cells. Foods rich in antioxidants can help counteract the effects of oxidation in the brain.

6 Pillars of Brain Health – Food & Nutrition
Foods linked to better brainpower – Harvard Health


Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout our lives.  Getting enough quality sleep at the right times protects brain health in many ways.  While you sleep, your brain is preparing for the next day.  It’s forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information.  Sleep helps your brain work properly.

6 Pillars of Brain Health – Sleep & Relaxation
Aging and sleep: Making changes for brain health – Harvard Health

Mental Fitness

Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise in keeping your brain fit and healthy.  Find something you love, whether traditional or online games, a new hobby or skill, or taking a class.  New activities help your brain form new connections and strengthen existing ones.

6 Pillars of Brain Health – Mental Fitness
Simple, low-cost, low-tech brain training – Harvard Health
Doing multiple types of activities improves cognitive health – Harvard Health

Social Interaction

Spending time with others, engaging in stimulating conversation, and staying connected to family and friends are good for your brain health.  Research shows that people with the most social interaction experience the slowest rates of memory decline.

6 Pillars of Brain Health – Social Interaction
How isolation affects memory and thinking skills – Harvard Health