How To Maintain Your Brain: Alzheimer’s Care
When we think about staying fit, we generally think from the neck down. But brain health plays a critical role in almost everything we do: thinking, feeling, remembering, working, and playing – even sleeping. The good news is we now know there are things we can do to keep our brain healthier as we age – and these steps might reduce our risk of Alzheimer’s.
The Alzheimer’s Association Maintain Your Brain public awareness campaign is reaching out to the 77 million American baby boomers to change the way the nation thinks about Alzheimer’s disease. The baby boomers are part of the largest population group to ever face Alzheimer’s disease. They are also the first to have real hope of a future without this threat.
Through the Maintain Your Brain program, the Alzheimer’s Association is calling on people to:
Maintain Your Brain. Adopt a healthy lifestyle with preventative behaviors to maintain optimal mental functioning for the rest of your life.
Participate. Get involved with the Alzheimer’s Association to learn what we know about brain health, progress in science, potential for prevention, and available care services.
Advocate. Join us in advocating for the funding needed to find preventions and the cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and to make brain health a national priority.
Donate. Support the Alzheimer’s Association in advancing research, providing education and care services, and raising public awareness.
Stay informed. Know the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and seek diagnosis and help as soon as possible. Turn to the Alzheimer’s Association as a trusted source for assistance.
10 Ways to Maintain Your Brain:
1. Head First-Good health starts with your brain, so don’t take it for granted. It’s one of the most important body organs, and it needs care and maintenance.
2. Take Brain Health to Heart-Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s.
3. Your Numbers Count-Keep your body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels within recommended ranges.
4. Feed your Brain-Eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet that features dark-skinned vegetables and fruits; foods rich in antioxidants; vitamins E, C and B-12; folate; and omega-3 fatty acids.
5. Work your Body-Physical exercise keeps the blood flowing and encourages new brain cells. It doesn’t have to be a strenuous activity. Do what you can – walking 30 minutes a day – to keep both body and mind active.
6. Jog your Mind-Keeping your brain active and engaged increases its vitality and builds reserves of brain cells and connections. Read, write, play games, do crossword puzzles.
7. Connect with Others-Leisure activities that combine physical, mental, and social elements are most likely to prevent dementia. Be social, converse, volunteer, join.
8. Heads Up! Protect your Brain-Take precautions against injuries. Use your car seat belts, unclutter your house to avoid falls, and wear a helmet when cycling.
9. Use your Head-Avoid unhealthy habits. Do not smoke, drink excessive alcohol, or use street drugs.
10. Think ahead – Start Today!-You can do something today to protect your tomorrow.
Article courtesy of the Alzheimer’s Association, 2004.