What about brain health?


Even though our brain is the most important and complex part of the body, we don’t often think of brain health. Our brain weighs about 3 pounds and is a combination of 40% water, protein, salt and carbohydrates, and 60% fat. The most simple explanation for how the brain works is that it sends and receives chemical and electrical signals throughout the body. Different signals control different processes, such as making you feel tired, hungry or in pain. 

The brain regulates every process in the body including thinking, hunger, behavior, emotions, vision, decision making, memory, body movement and much more. It also contains blood vessels and nerves, including neurons and glial cells. Although technology is changing every day and our knowledge of many areas of the human body is improving, still the brain remains a mystery in so many ways.

Possibly the scariest thing that can happen to us is losing our memory and thinking abilities. The number of people affected by this is increasing, but it can be hard to know what we can do to improve our brain health. The first thing that comes in our mind is stimulating our brain with things like puzzles and playing games. These have been proven effective, however there are many other ways and importantly there are also screening and comprehensive standardized testing options available now too for preventing the onset or further damage of any brain condition. 

Many brain functions do not change with age. Actually, the social cognition, vocabulary and verbal reasoning in older adults remains unchanged and can even improve during the aging process. But with aging some senses decline, especially vision. The brain’s processing speed decreases and it becomes harder to retrieve information rapidly. Multitasking decreases, and the ability to learn also declines. And if we reach a point where we start to need others for help, it can be concerning.

Dementia is not a normal part of the decline that comes with aging. It is an umbrella term that refers instead to the loss of the ability to remember, think or reason to the extent that it interferes with complex tasks in daily life such as keeping appointments or financial management. Dementia is a clinical syndrome caused by different diseases in the brain. If we notice the onset of it, either in ourselves or in others around us, of course we get very worried. Yes, as we age we may lose some functions that involve decision making, planning, multitasking and the speed in which we can respond. Some mild changes in cognition are considered a normal part of the aging process. However, the declines seen in dementia are more severe and may include other thinking abilities such as rapidly forgetting or difficulties navigating, solving common problems, or expressing ourself in conversation. Symptoms are often quite different for each individual. 

Some of the risk factors for cognitive decline include type 2 diabetes, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure, smoking and mental health problems such as depression. But the good news here is that all of these risk factors are modifiable. However, if they are left untreated or treated badly then the effects accumulate over time and the symptoms of dementia appear. 

There are some key strategies for keeping our brain healthy. The importance of nutrition for the brain is huge. We need a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins and there are some specific foods known to boost brain health, such as berries, nuts, and fatty fish. And it’s important too to keep blood sugar levels stable during the day.

Establishing a physical exercise routine with a mix of cardio, strength training, and balance exercises is crucial. There are many easy-to-follow exercise programs that are suitable for different fitness levels, with certain types of exercises specifically recommended for older adults.

Mental stimulation plays an important role. Learning new skills and hobbies, and setting goals for what we want to learn or achieve, can help keep the brain active.

Social engagement also has many proven benefits on cognitive health.

And if needed, strategies for managing stress and maintaining mental wellbeing such as meditation, breath work and yoga can have a big impact on brain health.

And we must not forget that we need quality sleep. There is a strong relationship between sleep and brain health, and creating a nightly routine to enhance sleep quality can have a big impact.


National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Brain Basics: Know Your Brain. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/health-information/public-education/brain-basics/brain-basics-know-your-brain

Johns Hopkins Medicine. Brain Anatomy and How the Brain Works. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/anatomy-of-the-brain

National Library of Medicine. The Impact of Age on Cognition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4906299/

UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences. Healthy Aging. https://memory.ucsf.edu/symptoms/healthy-aging 

Share this post with your friends


Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


GET 120+ recipes WITH MEAL PLAN

competition history

Ayda competes regularly in fitness competitions and is currently preparing for the 2023 North American championships.

NPC North American Championships, 2022
NPC North American Championships, 2022
NPC North American Championships, 2022
CPA Toronto, 2021

You’ve probably heard so many people say “I love what I do”, BUT in my case I can truly say it from my heart. I’ve competed in sports all my life, but it wasn’t so long ago that I really understood that actually I can only ever compete with myself.

“You are perfect, until compare yourself with someone else”

I started contest prep in 2011, and since then I didn’t stop competing. In some competitions I got first place, in some it went not so well, but every competition that I prepared for taught me something more about myself and helped me take the correct direction, which I believe has shaped my work and my life in such a positive way.

When I competed in my first bikini competition I had just moved from my home country Turkey to Canada, and was getting used to the Canadian lifestyle — and, of course, the language too, which was the hardest part for me. I always wanted to do a fitness or bikini competition, but when I was still in Turkey the work and cultural differences made it so hard to do.

So I was in Vancouver BC, working at Steve Nash Fitness Club, and one of my co-workers, who was a competitor herself, asked me “why you are not competing?” I started asking myself and questioning if I could do it? I’d never done anything like it before… Maybe you’re asking yourself the same questions right now! Of course I told myself “absolutely, I can’’. And my competition journey began!

Each show that I competed in gave me more knowledge about my body, and how I can improve. Of course, it’s not easy to correctly identify what’s missing with training and nutrition, and this learning process and all of the experiences pushed me to learn more… I’ve been a personal trainer since 1993, but I wanted more and began my nutrition studies. I finished my Comprehensive Nutrition and Sports Nutrition degrees.

And yes, I am still competing! You can see a list of all of the competitions that I’ve competed in further down this page. And right now, AGAIN, I am getting ready for my next show…!

I’ll warn you right now, it wasn’t easy at all. The easiest part was the training, which was already part of my daily life. But posing, dieting, supplementation, getting a bikini, finding a trainer… This was much tougher, not the mention the cost for the registration, jewelry, tanning, hair and make-up, they cost a lot too. 

But I wouldn’t let anything stop me, and right after my first show — WBFF in May, 2011 — I immediately started looking for the next show to compete in. I was hooked!

I am so happy to be able to help other competitors who are willing to work and improve their mind and health at the same time. My goal is to create healthy and happy bikini competitors, who want to challenge themselves and put in the work that needs to be done to reach their goals. There is really no easy way to get there… But there is a smart way.

I look forward to working together and sharing my knowledge with YOU to get you in the best shape of your LIFE!!!!! 



Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Follow us