5 Tips For Keeping Cognitive Health Strong With Bryna Carracino

Melissa Bolona

Does the winter blues catch up with you? Now that the days are getting shorter and colder, it's important to take proactive steps towards strengthening your mental well-being.

We partnered with Lifestyle & Fitness Expert and Mental Health Advocate Bryna Carracino to share her top tips for keeping your cognitive health strong!

Bryna has been in the fitness industry for over 10 years, and has herself struggled with cognitive health. She found her rescue in fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle. Seeing how much fitness improved her own life, Bryna set out to help others. Bryna has since created REHAB, a 35 minute HIIT Flow that cleanses and reinvigorates the mind, body and spirit through movement, mantra, and music. Her latest endeavor is 40-LOVE w/Bryna, a fitness program inspired by Bryna's son, a young, talented and dedicated tennis player. In 50 minutes Bryna trains your mind and body just like a tennis pro. Bryna said "The same mindset and set of rituals that applies to an exceptional tennis player like Oliver, are the same set of rituals that apply to an everyday athlete. A life of balance, consistency and the sheer will to fight."

Mindset sure seems to be key for optimal fitness. Here are Bryna's top tips for cognitive health!

Bryna: Coming from a mental health and functional movement background, I think it’s crucial to put your cognitive health top of your wellness priorities list. Taking care of your mind will directly affect how your body feels, your stress levels, your interactions/relationships with others, the choices you make, how you sleep, and the foods you eat. Keeping your mental health in check will also help you avoid neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and will literally increase your life span! The list of benefits can go on forever.


Here are my 5 tips for keeping cognitive health strong:


1. The way you start the day will set the tone for the rest of the day 

Start with choices that help you feel connected to your day and connected to your breath. Like a morning meditation followed by a journal entry, or maybe a short run followed by some self-care like foam rolling or using a Theragun. Actively making the choice to be present in the moment sends signals to your brain to stress and worry less. 


2. Move your body daily 

30 minutes a day of moderate movement will improve mental health while also releasing endorphins. This helps relieve stress and keep your emotions in check. If you haven’t picked up a regular exercise routine -- no worries! A light yoga flow or a walk around your neighborhood is a great start. Once you begin to create a regular routine your mind will open up to other options and you’ll want to jump into more forms of exercise. 


3. Getting a great nights sleep is the best way for your mind and body to reset 

7 1/2 to 8 hours of sleep a night is at the top of my clients list of priorities. If this one component is off, it will affect your mood/mindset, the food choices you make, and your energy levels will drop. You’ll feel unfocused, and you'll struggle to retain new information. My suggestion is to shut down all technology 2 hours before bed. Create a night-time routine that you can successfully commit to every evening that will set the mood for you to peacefully fall asleep. A few things you can do are dimming all the lights in your home, reading a good book, or lighting a lavender candle.


4. Being around the wrong people can contribute to mental illness 

Find people that like to stay healthy and spend more time with them. Their choices are going to eventually teach you how to live a healthier lifestyle. Those same people will also be the most supportive and positive overall.


5. Filling your body with low quality food will have long-term negative effects on your mindset 

95% of serotonin lives in your gut, the neurons that live in the lining of the belly that aid in digestion. This means that your food choices will affect your mood. Your brain functions best when it’s mainly eating high quality foods. Balanced meals equal a healthy brain. 


    To learn more about Bryna and her latest fitness program 40-LOVE w/Bryna (only offered via pop-ups or events), please send an email to bfitnewyork@gmail.com. You can also visit her website, and check out her Instagram


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