Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Maintaining a Healthy Nervous System

The nervous system is your body’s communication network, and it affects every function of your mind and body. Keeping the nervous system healthy is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. While neurological problems should be handled by a neurologist once they develop, there are several ways that you can improve the general health of your nervous system on your own.

Get Plenty of Rest

One of the best ways to keep your nervous system functioning properly is to get a good night’s sleep. While you sleep, your body strengthens circuits in your nervous system that contribute to learning and memory. When the body is well rested, the nervous system forms dendritic spines that transmit electrical signals between neurons. These dendritic connections improve communication in the body and may improve long-term memory.

Proper Nutrition

Glucose powers the body’s neurons, so eating regularly ensures that the nervous system has plenty of energy. A healthy diet should include plenty of B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids facilitate communication between brain cells while B vitamins help to maintain the myelin sheaths that coat nerve fibers. Myelin sheaths contribute to the conduction of nerve impulses, and the breakdown of these sheaths can lead to nervous system disorders.


By sending complex signals and neurotransmitters through your brain and nerve pathways, physical exercise gives your nervous system a workout and improves cognition. When you engage in physical activity, the brain releases endorphins, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters that keep your body functioning properly. Exercise also triggers the brain to create neurons that produce GABA, an important neurotransmitter that calms the brain and reduces the symptoms of anxiety.

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