Welcome back to “The Whole Picture,” The Mayflower’s blog series where we discuss the many dimensions of wellness, with tips on how you can invest in a happier and healthier you. (New to the series? Get started here!) In today’s entry, we’ll be exploring what it means to be “well” – in both body and mind.

As you’re reading this, your brain is hard at work. Neurons are transmitting signals from your eyes and converting them into images. Your memory is interpreting the images as words with sound and meaning, and your cerebral cortex is reacting to and evaluating that meaning.

It’s an impressive feat made possible by one of the body’s largest organs: three pounds of complex neural pathways, alive with neurotransmitters and electrical impulses. Just like the heart or lungs, the brain grows and changes with us throughout life, developing new cells and letting others fade.

At The Mayflower, we believe intellectual wellness is a critical dimension of whole-person health – and that investing in the health of the brain, as well as the body, can help keep you alert and active throughout life.

“In a constantly changing world, we’re faced with a barrage of new information and changing technology – and we rely on our brain’s intellectual horsepower to keep up,” says Sarah Burke, Wellness Coordinator at The Mayflower. “The topic of intellectual wellness often goes on the back burner, but it’s no less important than diet and exercise in living a healthy life.”

If you’re looking for more ways to boost your brain health, here are three evidence-based tips to get started:

  • Yes, You Can Learn New Tricks. While almost anything that makes you think – from reading books to balancing a checkbook – is good for your brain, the most effective way to keep your mind and memory sharp may be to learn something brand-new.If you’re looking for a healthy challenge, try learning a new musical instrument, a foreign language, or a strategic game like chess or bridge. You’ll pick up a new skill, improve your overall intellectual health, and have a great time doing it!
  • Boost Your Heart Rate (and Your Brain). When we talk about a “mental workout,” we usually don’t mean the kind that gets your heart pumping. But the brain – just like the rest of our bodies – relies on good nutrition to grow, plenty of exercise to stay fit, and good sleep to rest and recover.In fact, studies show that exercise is one of the best ways to boost memory and focus throughout life. When you get your heart pumping, your body also starts pumping positive chemicals that reduce inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, and encourage your brain to grow new neurons.
  • Discover, Share, Discuss. Why keep all the fun to yourself? Like many things in life, learning is best when shared with friends. Consider joining a class, club, or group discussion where you can discover new viewpoints and share your ideas – or tackle tough concepts with the help of an experienced teacher.At The Mayflower, residents have plenty of opportunities to do just that. From our community “Think Tank,” where residents lead discussions and debates on current events, to our wide array of seminars, clubs, and classes on topics ranging from poetry and art history to technology and nutrition, there’s something for everyone here.

When you’re ready to expand your horizons, why not pay us a visit? Our wellness-focused community is a place where anyone can learn, grow, and pursue their passions with total peace of mind. Explore our selection of stylish (and surprisingly affordable!) apartments online – or book a tour today and experience our vibrant and engaging community firsthand.

There’s no better time to embark on your next adventure, and no better place to do it than The Mayflower. Ready to learn more? To request more information or schedule your personal tour, send us a message or give us a call at 407.672.1620. We look forward to hearing from you!