In todays' modern world, people are living longer than ever before. Looking at life expectancy statistics is staggering: In 1930 the average life expectancy in the US was 59 ½ years old, by 1960 life expectancy had risen to 70, and today it’s up to almost 81 for women and 76 for men. Living well in to your 90's is common now and the 100+ population is the fastest growing segment the population in America! Well, I think that if we are going to be living longer, we need to keep our brains healthy so we can retain our cognitive thinking and enjoy our golden years! This is why the issue of brain health has become so important to me and researchers all around the world.
Later today I am heading down to Dallas, Texas to the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas. I will meet with the leaders in maximizing brain performance in people who are healthy and also those who have brain diseases or brain injuries. The organization was founded by Dr. Sandra Chapman in 1999 and now has grown to over 120 people focused on cognitive brain health. Do you have any questions for me to to take along with me? I will get them answered for you! I can't wait to see what they have in store for me!
But before I go, here are just a few tips that I've come across that I want to share with you on how to keep your brain in shape.
If you want to keep your brain in shape, the first thing to do is keep your body in shape. By exercising regularly you can reduce your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease by 50%! The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation says women from age 40 to 60 who exercised regularly were seen to have a dramatic reduction in cognitive decline. So throw some fun aerobic exercises or activities into your schedule like a Zumba class, tennis, or find a workout video on Youtube and get your body... and your brain fit right from home.
Feed Your Brain
An AARP article says “A large new study finds that women who follow a healthy diet during middle age have more than 40% greater odds of surviving past the age of 70 with no chronic illness, physical impairments or memory problems.” This study shows benefits from consuming omega-3 fatty acids, fruits and vegetables, plus consuming moderate alcohol. So add lots of vegetables, fruits (berries to be exact), nuts, whole grains, fish (salmon is GREAT), olive oil, and an occasional glass of red wine to your diet to keep your memory in its best condition.
Engage your Brain
Keeping your brain active is an important tool both in maintaining healthy cognitive thinking and in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the ARPF you can reduce your chances of Alzheimer’s by 70% by engaging your brain. There are a lot of fun games out there to keep your brain in shape like The Right Word, as well as countless apps for your phone, but don’t stop there! Read more, learn a new language, take up photography or painting, enroll in a continuing education class, or take a dance class (double whammy as you will engage your brain by learning something new as well as getting an aerobic workout that’s also great for your brain!). Even something as simple as surfing the web has brain benefits according to this AARP article.
Brain health is important for all ages, so involve your kids, and your parents in being on top of thier brain health. In fact, social activity is also great for your brain so even a family get together or a dinner with friends has it’s health benefits. (hey, sounds good to me!)
I can't wait to get back from the Center for BrainHealth and share all that I learn while I'm there! Let me know if you have any questions for me to bring to Texas with me!