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Article Archive >> Good Health

Take Care of Your Brain - For Today and Tomorrow

Take Care of Your Brain - For Today and Tomorrow

Maintain Your Brain(tm): changing how we think about brain health(END BOLD)
The health of our brain will largely determine the quality of our life as we age. Our brain, after all, plays a critical role in almost everything we do: feelings, movements, senses, bodily functions, sleep and cognitive function, and our ability to think, reason and remember.
The greatest threats to a healthy brain as we get older are diseases that cause dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease. Recent advances in science have found that there is much we can do to protect our brain from decline due to normal aging, and - while there is as yet no definitive proof - growing evidence suggests that these steps may also help reduce our risk of Alzheimer's disease. That's why the Alzheimer's Association is calling on everyone to learn about this rapid progress in our scientific knowledge of good health practices and the things to do to Maintain Your Brain.
The new Maintain Your Brain(tm) program encourages Americans to learn what can be done to foster brain health. Simple lifestyle modifications may have an enormous impact on individuals' and the nation's public health. In reaching out to the 77 million American baby boomers-those born between 1946 and 1964-we're changing the way the nation thinks about Alzheimer's disease.
The brain-healthy life choices we're encouraging are listed below - take a look and see how you are doing...
10 ways to Maintain Your Brain(tm)
1.) Head first
Good health starts with your brain so pay attention to your brain health. It's one of the most important body organs and needs care and maintenance.
2.) Take brain health to heart
Do something every day to reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke-all of which can increase your risk of Alzheimer's.
3.) Your numbers count
Keep your body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels within recommended ranges.
4.) Feed your brain
Eat less fat and more vegetables, especially leafy greens and those rich in antioxidants.
5.) Work your body
Physical exercise keeps the blood flowing and may encourage new brain cells. It doesn't have to be a strenuous activity. Do what you can-like walking 30 minutes a day-to keep both body and mind active.
6.) Jog your mind
Keeping your brain active and engaged increases its vitality and builds reserves of brain cells and connections. Read, write, play games, learn new things, do crossword puzzles.
7.) Connect with others
Leisure activities that combine physical, mental and social elements may be most likely to prevent dementia. Be social, converse, volunteer, join a club or take a class.
8.) Heads up! Protect your brain
Take precautions against injuries. Use your car seat belts, unclutter your house to avoid falls, and wear a helmet when cycling or in-line skating.
9.) Use your head
Avoid unhealthy habits. Don't smoke, drink excessive alcohol or use street drugs.
10.) Think ahead-start today!
You can do something today to protect your tomorrow.
For more information on the "Maintain Your Brain(tm): How to Live a Brain Healthy Lifestyle" program, call 301-696-0315 or 301-797-4892, or visit the Association's Web site at www.alzgmd.org. There is a cost for the workshop - please call for details. For more information about Alzheimer's disease, you can also visit www.alz.org.

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