Start When You Are Still Young........
To help ward off dementia, train your brain:
Timing is everything comedians say. It's also important when it comes to taking care
of your brain. Yet most of us start worrying about dementia after retirement - and
that may be too little, too late. Experts say that if you really want to ward off
dementia, you need to start taking care of your brain in your 30s and or even earlier.
"More and more research is suggesting that lifestyle is very important to your brain's
health," says Dr Paul Nussbaum, a neuropsychologist and an adjunct associate
professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "If you want to live a
long, healthy life, then many of us need to start as early as we can.
"So what can you do to beef up your brain ? and possibly ward off dementia?
Dr.Nussbaum, who recently gave a speech on the topic for the Winter Park (Fla) Health
Foundation, offers 20 tips that may help.
1. Join clubs or organizations that need volunteers.
If you start volunteering now, you won't feel lost and unneeded after you retire.
2. Develop a hobby or two.
Hobbies help you develop a robust brain because you're trying something new and
3. Practice writing with your non-dominant hand several minutes every day.
This will exercise the opposite side of your brain and fire up those neurons.
4. Take dance lessons.
In a study of nearly 500 people, dancing was the only regular physical activity
associated with a significant decrease in the incidence of dementia, including
The people who danced three or four times a week showed 76% less incidence of
dementia than those who danced only once a week or not at all.
5. Need a hobby? Start gardening.
Researchers in New Zealand found that, of 1,000 people, those who gardened
regularly were less likely to suffer from dementia. Not only does gardening
reduce stress, but gardeners use their brains to plan garden; they use visual and
spatial reasoning to lay out a garden.
6. Buy a pedometer and walk 10,000 steps a day.
Walking daily can reduce the risk of dementia because cardio-vascular health is
important to maintain blood flow to the brain.
7. Read and write daily.
Reading stimulates a wide variety of brain areas that process and store
information. Likewise, writing (not copying) stimulates many areas of the brain
8. Start knitting.
Using both hands works both sides of your brain. And it's a stress reducer.
9. Learn a new language.
Whether it's a foreign language or sign language, you are working your brain by
making it go back and forth between one language and the other. A researcher
in England found that being bilingual seemed to delay symptoms of Alzheimer's
disease for four years. (And some research suggests that the earlier a child learns
sign language, the higher his IQ - and people with high IQs are less likely to have
dementia. So start them early.)
10. Play board games such as Scrabble and Monopoly.
Not only are you taxing your brain, you're socializing too.
(Playing solo games, such as solitaire or online computer
brain games can be helpful, but Dr Nussbaum prefers games
that encourage you to socialize too.) *MAHJONG IS GOOD!*
besides which there is the incentive of $$$.
11. Take classes throughout your lifetime.
Learning produces structural and chemical changes in the brain, and
education appears to help people live longer. Brain
researchers have found that people with advanced degrees
live longer - and if they do have Alzheimer's, it often
becomes apparent only in the very later stages of the disease.
12. Listen to classical music.
A growing volume of research suggests that music may hardwire the
brain, building links between the two hemispheres. Any
kind of music may work, but there's some research that
shows positive effects for classical music, though
researchers don't understand why.
13. Learn a musical instrument
It may be harder than it was when you were a kid, but you'll be
developing a dormant part of your brain.
When you travel (whether it's to a distant vacation spot or on a
different route across town), you're forcing your brain
to navigate a new and complex environment. A study of London
taxi drivers found experienced drivers had larger brains
because they have to store lots of information about
locations and how to navigate there.
Daily prayer appears to help your immune system. And people who attend a
formal worship service regularly live longer and report
happier, healthier lives.
16. Learn to meditate.
It's important for your brain
that you learn to shut out the stresses of everyday life.
17. Get enough sleep.
Studies have shown a link between interrupted sleep and dementia.
18. Eat more foods containing omega-3 fatty acids:
Salmon, sardines, tuna, ocean trout, mackerel or herring, plus
walnuts (which are higher in omega 3s than salmon) and
flaxseed. Flaxseed oil, cod liver oil and walnut oil are
good sources too.
19. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables mop up some of the damage caused by
free radicals, one of the leading killers of brain cells.
20. Eat at least one meal a day with family and friends.
You'll slow down, socialize, and
research shows you'll eat healthier food than if you ate
alone or on the go.
21. In addition, actively participating MCF forum, sending, receiving, sharing,
distributing information, and current affairs every day will helps the brain function
and exercise !