In an effort to deter the debilitating Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Association is offering a new brochure and quick guide, "Ten Ways to Maintain Your Brain."
It is crucial that we all live brain-healthy lifestyles to potentially reduce our risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Approximately 4.5 million Americans suffer from this malady; on average, this population is cared for by 2.3 family members per person. Unless preventive measures or a cure are found, between 11 million and 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s disease by 2050.
The Alzheimer’s Association guide contains tips, how-to information and inspiration for getting brain-healthy.
Here are the recommended "Ten Ways to Maintain Your Brain."
- 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 needs care and maintenance.
- Take Brain Health to Heart – Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke can increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
- Your Numbers Count – Keep your body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels within recommended ranges.
- Feed Your Brain – Eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet featuring dark-skinned vegetables and fruits, foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins E and C, folic and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Work Your Body – Physical exercise keeps the blood flowing and encourages development of new brain cells. It doesn’t have to be a strenuous activity. Do what you can to keep both body and mind active.
- 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.
- Connect with Others – Leisure activities that combine physical, mental and social elements are most likely to prevent dementia. Be social, converse, volunteer, join.
- Heads Up! Protect Your Brain – Take precautions against injuries. Use car seat belts, get rid of clutter in your house to avoid falls, wear a helmet when bicycling.
- Use Your Head – Avoid unhealthy habits. Don’t smoke, drink excessive alcohol or use street drugs.
- Think Ahead – Start Today! – You can do something today to protect your tomorrow.
We all hope that one day our medical community will find a cure for this dreadful disease. Until then, I encourage those affected to take advantage of the wide range of resources available locally.
For a copy of the brochure and guide, or to learn more about local workshops, call the Alzheimer’s Association toll-free at (800) 272-3900 or visit www.alz.org.