I recently read an article about ways to stave off early dementia and Alzheimer's, and was thrilled to discover that I was practicing most of the methods already. All of the things I advocate at livelife365.com and this blog are great contributors in not only living longer, healthy, happy lives, but also quite helpful in ensuring that your mind is sharp and healthy for the duration. Here are some tips:
I am constantly going on about the importance of exercise, and there's a reason for it. It is so GOOD for you! One of the best things you can do now to help when you're older is start an exercise program. I recently wrote a post about walking that will help you get started. You will also benefit from lifting light weights (in the beginning) three times a week, and some form of cardiovascular exercise. Try riding a bike, either stationary or outside, treadmill, swimming, anything to get your heart rate up for 20-30 minutes, three days a week. As always, consult your medical professional before starting any new exercise program.
WORK YOUR MIND
We all use our brains in different ways, depending on what we need to accomplish. Most of that precious brain power is used to earn a living and maintain our households, relationships, or raise children. But to help keep dementia away, as well as improve your life now, you need to work your mind in other ways. Different ways than you work it during your normal routines. I do a crossword puzzle each day, that helps. Or try Sudoku or jigsaw puzzles. Anything that occupies your mind differently, works another part of the old gray matter, is beneficial. Reading is great for you. Toss out that TV and read, every day. Fiction, non-fiction, magazines, newspapers, ahh, blogs? Yes, those too. Expand your knowledge, learn new things--you will enhance your life now, and really help yourself as you age.
Pick up a hobby or learn a musical instrument. Join clubs. Do volunteer work. Challenge yourself and your mind and you will not be as challenged down the road.
Not much more I need to say about that except: DON'T EVER SMOKE! EVER!! There is absolutely nothing positive that can happen to you by smoking, so, please, don't.
MANAGE YOUR STRESS
First you take away my smokes, now you tell me to manage my stress? Jeez! We all have stress in our lives, there's no getting around it. It's everywhere these days. The key is finding ways to manage it. Here are a few suggestions: Yoga, meditation, long walks, breathing techniques, good relationships, making love (hopefully with the same person from that good relationship), laughter, proper sleep. And proper diet (more on that soon).
I have videos at livelife365.com that talk about all of these methods.
Eating the proper foods and correct amounts of foods is something I talk and write about all the time. Why? Because I strongly feel that what we eat and their portions is the secret to life. Living healthy, happy lives now--and in our golden years. Diets rich in fiber, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory foods will help you now and are being linked to helping keep Alzheimer's away.
Start with as many servings (at least 6, but 10-12 is better) of fruits and vegetables as you can humanly consume every day. The best way to accomplish this is to eliminate some other foods from your daily consumption. I have an idea--how about getting rid of saturated fats, unnecessary sugars and carbs, empty calories, and red meat? Replace them with: high-fiber foods like whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts, and those aforementioned fruits and veggies. And replace butter and other oils, whenever possible, with olive oil. It not only will help you age better, but it also reduces cholesterol and is loaded with healthy fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the good fats. Saturated and trans fats are the ones to keep away from. Read labels and avoid fast food whenever you can.
And drink tea, preferably green. As well as rooibos and yerba matte. These teas not only taste wonderful, but are loaded with antioxidants, which help slow the aging process of cells, thus helping fight cancer--and Alzheimer's. I drink at least five cups a day--you should too.
Here is a video (Brain Food) about this post that may interest you. And most of this information can also be found in video form at my website, livelife365.com.
Until next time...