Friday, June 20, 2014
4 Easy Ways to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
This June is the inaugural Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. Because Alzheimer’s Disease poses a threat to anyone with a brain, much research has been done to see if there is any way to prevent brain killing disease. With a little bit of regular exercise, mental stimulation, mental unwinding, and the right kind diet we can slow down, prevent, and reverse the side effects of this mental disease.
Exercise Your Body
One of the most important parts of brain health is to equip the brain with the tools it needs to function correctly. Oxygen is the most essential tool your brain needs to thrive. The best way to prompt your heart to pump fresh air into bloodstream and your brain is to exercise. Engage in these highly aerobic exercises regularly to get more oxygen to your brain:
- Try brisk walking or jogging for at least forty minutes.
- Try using the elliptical, treadmill, or stationary bike at your local gym.
- Try doing a few pushups. If you can’t do full ones, rest on your knees.
- Try swimming.Water immersion increases blood flow to the brain.
Stimulate Your Brain
Just like all of the other muscles in the body, some parts of the human brain are used more than others. To ensure that all parts of your brain are kept strong, it is very important to perform a variety of tasks that stimulate the brain in different ways. Exercising the entirety of the brain is as easy as completing these routine, everyday tasks:
- Try brushing your teeth or hair with your non-dominant hand.
- Try eating a meal with the utensil in your non-dominant hand.
- Try writing and reading from the right to the left.
- Try tying your shoes the opposite way. Reverse the direction you loop the laces.
- Try teasing your memory. Create a silly story or help you remember a word or list.
- Try socializing. Meet with friends and recall names or details from events past.
- Try favorite pastimes. Reading, writing, board games, and puzzles keep the brain active.
Relax Your Brain
The human brain is often riddled with stress. Increased levels of cortisol, a hormone that is released when a person is stressed, can cause seriously damage cells in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that processes memories. It is very important to train your mind to relax in order to reduce the damage done by being stressed. At least once a day, sit in a clean and cool room with the lights off and try these relaxing exercises:
- Try breathing exercises. Inhale and deeply exhale while counting to five. Repeat five times.
- Try meditation. Focus your mind on one word or mantra and refocus if your mind wanders.
- Try guided imagery. Imagine a familiar experience that interacts will all of your senses.
- Try getting a massage. Relax and focus on each methodical touch during this calming activity.
Feed Your Brain
Eating fresh and healthy foods plays a big part in the brain and body’s functionality and health. Each of the different nutrients and minerals found in natural foods can help human brains work more efficiently. Start incorporating these brain healthy foods into your diet:
- Try elderberries. These delicious sweeties reduce cellular inflammation.
- Try pecans. These chewy nuts reduce neural degeneration.
- Try vegetable juice. It’s easier than eating all your vitamins and antioxidants.
- Try beets. Beets are full of nitrates which increase blood flow to the brain.
- Try avocados. Avocados give your brain the healthy fat it needs to function.
- Try skipping the red meat. Fish, chicken, turkey, and cold water seafood are delicious.
- Try limiting sugars and grains in your diet. These foods lead to plaques in the brain.