According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, chronic heart disease factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity can quicken the pace of cognitive decline.

High blood pressure and diabetes can accelerate shrinkage of the brain, especially affecting the brain’s memory center, the hippocampus. When combined with other cardio risk factors, the rate at which cognitive decline advances, leading to dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Improve your brain’s processing, memory and overall health by making heart-healthy lifestyle changes. Think of your heart and brain as good buddies who are on this journey of life with you. Each of you supports one another, and you, as the leader, will be the one making decisions that are based on everyone’s best interests.

Daily exercise and meditation have the biggest impacts on improving heart and brain conditions, thinking and verbal skills in older adults. Exercise helps the gut create serotonin, which helps manage stress, and melatonin, which helps to improve sleep. Meditation helps lower blood pressure and relax tension in the brain and body.

Make healthy decisions to lower your risk for heart disease and improve your cognitive functions daily. Your good buddies — your heart and brain — are counting on you.

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