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Improve Your Brain Health Prognosis

Posted Apr 14 2009 11:38pm

Here are a few simple ways to prevent brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia:

1. Stay Mentally Active

Mental decline as we age is caused by degrading connections between brain cells; and research has proven that keeping the brain active increases its vitality, builds reserve brain cells and connections, and even generates new brain cells.

Some suggested activities:

  • Be a lifelong learner. Take classes, learn new skills and expand on current knowlegde.
  • Read, write, do crossword puzzles, jumbles and word games.
  • Attend musical events, lectures and theatrical presentations.
  • Play board games and card games.
  • Garden.
  • Walk outdoors every single day.

2. Remain Socially Active

People regularly engaged in social activities retain greater brain vitality, especially if those activities combine both physical and mental activity. Sports, cultural activities, emotional support and close personal relationships together appear to have a protective effect against dementia.

A recent study of 800 men and women aged 75 and older, proved that those who were more physically active, more mentally active or more socially engaged had a lower risk for developing dementia. Those who combined these activities did even better.

Stay socially connected and physically active to stimulate your mind and body:

  • Continue to be involved in your life’s work.
  • Volunteer in community groups  or for charitable organizations
  • Join special interest clubs or other social groups
  • Travel

3. Participate in Physical Activity

Physical exercise is the most important factor in maintaining good blood flow to the brain and encouraging new brain cells. It also prohibits heart attack, stroke and diabetes, and thereby protect against those risk factors for Alzheimer’s. In addition, aerobic exercise improves oxygen flow and general brain function and reduces brain cell loss.

Try these activities for 30 minutes a day to improve your physical and mental health:

  • Bicycling
  • Circuit Training
  • Gardening
  • Pilates
  • Swimming
  • Tai chi
  • Walking
  • Water Aerobics
  • Yoga

4. Consume brain and heart healthy foods.

All of us benefit from wise-eating, but those with a family history of Alzheimer’s should be particularly careful to maintain a healthy weight, reduce consumption of foods high in fat and cholesterol,  and eat more protective foods.

Foods that reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and protect brain cells

  • FATTY, COLD-WATER FISH

Halibut
Mackerel
Salmon
Sardines
Trout
Tuna

  • FRUIT

Blackberries
Blueberries
Cherries
Oranges
Plums
Prunes
Raisins
Raspberries
Red Grapes
Strawberries

  • NUTS

Almonds
Pecans
Walnuts

  • VEGETABLES

Alfalfa sprouts
Beets
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Chard
Corn
Eggplant
Kale
Onion
Red bell pepper
Spinach

Even with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, adherence to these guidelines, coupled with advances in medical treatments, could lead to an Alzheimer’s-free future.


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