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Guard Your Health is a resource for Army National Guard Soldiers and family members. Find health-related tools and information. Hear from fellow Soldiers and Families. Make medical readiness part of your personal mission.

Guard Your Brain

Digital illustration of the internal anatomy of the human head with graphs and charts.

Cosmin4000/iStock

In this Article:

  • Guard your brain by easing stress.
  • Keep your brain fit by learning new skills and eating healthy.
  • Protect your brain by avoiding harmful substances.

As a Soldier, your physical and mental health are both critical to being fit for duty. You might spend time at the gym taking care of your body, but are you taking time to guard your brain? Test yourself to see how many of these five activities you do each day. 

1. Relax Your Brain

Give your brain a break for peace of mind. Ease stress and help your mind relax with the following tips:

2. Train Your Brain

You work out your body so you can pass the APFT. But your brain can also benefit from training to stay sharp and focused. You don’t have to be in school to train your brain. You can reset your brain to:

3. Feed Your Brain

Did you know that some foods are actually considered brain food? Some examples of foods that contribute to healthy blood flow, which can help your brain function better, are:

  • Avocados
  • Blueberries
  • Nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, almonds, and peanuts
  • Salmon
  • Whole grains, such as oatmeal, brown rice, and whole wheat bread
  • Black beans
  • Dark chocolate (don’t go overboard, of course!)

Caffeine can enhance focus and concentration, too; just limit how much you consume.

4. Give Your Brain Enough Sleep

Just as your body needs sleep, so does your brain. Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep to allow your brain time to repair itself, work out problems, and process the day. Learn more about sleep cycles and styles.

5. Protect Your Brain

What you put in your body affects not only your muscles, but your mind, too. Steer clear of harmful substances to keep your brain healthy. Abusing illicit and prescription drugs or alcohol can cause damage to your brain and might impact your military career.

Guard your brain to guard your health!

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