Wednesday, February 24, 2021

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Keeping our brains healthy

Posted August 20, 2014 in Altoona, Advice Column, Ankeny, Pleasant Hill

Over the past few months we have been talking about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and while there are medications that can be taken to slow the progression, there is not currently a cure.

What can we do then, to be proactive? How can we begin to protect our brain? What healthy habits and lifestyle changes can we make that may have an impact on our brain health?

Just like the rest of your body, the health of your brain depends on many factors. Researches have determined that there are six pillars of a brain-healthy lifestyle.

Those pillars are:
• Regular exercise
• Healthy diet
• Mental stimulation
• Quality sleep
• Stress management
• Active social life

We will be discussing these in detail over the next few months. The sooner we begin getting our brain trained and in shape, the hope is it will stay strong and functioning for many years to come.

Just like with the rest of our body, exercise is vital. It should come as no surprise, then, that an active lifestyle would also pay dividends in helping to keep our brain strong. We all have heard about the obesity and diabetes epidemic in the United States — we are a sedentary society and get even more so as we age. It doesn’t seem like we are doing a very good job in the exercise department, but with the ideas and tips I’m going to share next month I hope I can motivate you to make some changes.

It doesn’t matter how young or old you are — we are going to get motivated. Lace up your tennis shoes, and let’s get ready to get moving. Be prepared to have lots of fun while you’re at it.

Hint — that’s the key — it needs to be fun!

We’ll talk more about that next month.

Information provided by Shelly Charter, Valley View Village, 2571 Guthrie Ave., Des Moines, 265-2571.

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