- 122. 10 Ways to Love Your Brain Lori Williams Senior Services 25:12
How can I prevent cognitive decline?
Try the Alzheimer Association’s 10 ways to love your brain
The new year is underway, and many have begun new goals in physical fitness. Physical health is important, but an often-overlooked part of the body is our brain. Just like a workout regimen, there are everyday activities you can do to help your brain health – which also play a big role in dementia and Alzheimer’s prevention.
Megan Rowe, the senior program manager of the Alzheimer’s Association: Dallas and Northeast Texas Chapter, shares ‘10 simple ways to love your brain.’ This list provides guidelines for improving our brain health and preserving our cognitive health for hopefully years to come.
- Break a sweat: Megan says, “What’s good for the heart is good for the brain.” Our blood and vascular system helps provide the oxygen and fuel the brain needs. Break a sweat and engage in regular cardiovascular activity to see overall health benefits.
- Hit the books: Learn something new and challenge your brain, whether it’s a class at your local community college or senior center. The important thing is helping your brain find new neural pathways and staying mentally stimulated.
- Butt out: Don’t smoke. If you quit, you can still return to the same risk as a nonsmoker would have, so it’s worth the effort.
- Follow your heart: Again, anything that helps your heart will help your brain. Cardiovascular exercise, even a little each day, can add up to make a difference!
- Heads up!: Brain trauma and injury can increase your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Wear your seat belt, wear a helmet, and create a treatment plan with a medical professional if you’ve already suffered injuries.
- Fuel up right: Eat a healthy, balanced diet. The Mediterranean diet focuses on leafy greens, fresh fruits, nuts, and reduced processed foods and sugars. This can help prevent diabetes, high cholesterol risks, etc.
- Catch some Zzz’s: Get good quality sleep. Conditions like insomnia prevent the brain getting what it needs to function, and Sleep Apnea can cause lack of oxygen to the brain
- Take care of your mental health: Some studies link a history of depression and anxiety with increased risk of cognitive decline. Be sure to socialize and maintain connections with others through volunteering or other activities.
– Alzheimer’s Association
– Alzheimer’s / dementia prevention
– Boosting cognitive health
– Heart and brain health
– Depression / anxiety
– The importance of learning
– Senior center activities
– Staying social as we age
Takeaways from this episode:
– Try wearing a Fitbit or Apple Watch to get an idea of your daily activity – and make goals to increase it.
– Evidence shows that risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes all negatively impact cognitive health.
– Social time is important. There were higher incidences of deaths due to Alzheimer’s during the COVID-19 pandemic.
– Your local senior center may have a yearly membership as low as $10 a month, and they can be found in both rural and urban areas. This can expose you to new things and friendly people.
– You may have Sleep Apnea if you find yourself abruptly waking up and gasping for air. Ask your partner for their observations if you’re unsure.
– An additional item to add to the list? Go out in nature! The fresh air and Vitamin D is helpful, and nature is important for mood, health and overall well-being.
Download the Alzheimer’s Association Hub App:
Listen to previous Alzheimer’s Association episodes:
Senior Center: A place for Purpose
To suggest a topic, be a guest or to support the podcast, please email Lori@Loriwilliams-seniorservices.com
For more senior resources and to sign up to the newsletter, please visit: