3 Daily Rituals You Should Keep For A Healthy Brain
Ilene Ruhoy, M.D., Ph.D. , has some exceptionally unique credentials: She’s a board-certified neurologist, but she also includes acupuncture, neurofeedback, and herbal and nutritional guidelines in her practice. In short, she is an integrative physician, in every sense of the word. She’s also a brain cancer survivor.
As a patient herself, Ruhoy knows what it’s like to face debilitating fear, especially when she looked at her own brain scans and knew exactly what they meant. Still, her attitude is incredibly upbeat: She tells me on this episode of the mindbodygreen podcast why a life of obstacles is a life worth living, as well as why we should actually be thankful for our pain.
Because she specializes in neurological care, we talked about the best ways to optimize brain health. Her one major piece of advice? Stick to a ritual, in every aspect of life you can.
“Our brain is a circadian organ. So it thrives on that circadian rhythm,” she tells me. Here are three ways we can practice rituals in our lives (and the importance of each!), according to Ruhoy. Keep your alarm clocks at the ready.
- Sleep hygiene: Going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning,” Ruhoy says.
While you might not think the most important aspect of sleep hygiene would be strict bedtime, Ruhoy believes our brains thrive on a steady sleep schedule.
2. Exercise alone has significant benefits for our health, but could the timing of our workouts have specific brain health advantages? Ruhoy says yes, as she’s a firm believer that timing your exercise habits is a great way to get your body (and brain) into a healthy routine.
However, there’s no need to time your workouts down to the very minute you hit the treadmill. For Ruhoy, following a steady workout routine is pretty simple. “If you’re a morning person, exercise in the morning. If you’re an evening person, exercise in the evening,” she says.
3. While we’re familiar with the concept that certain foods are optimal for brain health, Ruhoy asserts that it’s the timing of our meals (along with the foods we choose to eat, of course) that can keep our brains in tip-top shape.
While the foods you eat and workout plans you follow may differ (Ruhoy is a proponent of integrative health, after all), the one thing every person should do to optimize brain health is to maintain a steady ritual. So, set your alarm clocks and create an exercise plan you can stick to—your healthy brain will thank you.