Sunday, November 28, 2010


To help ward off dementia, train your brain:
 *The minute you said you are retired, Dementia
 STARTS !!!! 
Timing is  everything, comedians  say. It's also important when it  comes to taking care of your brain. Yet most of us start worrying about dementia after retirement - and that may be too little, too late.  Experts say that if you really want to ward off dementia, you need to start taking care of your brain in your 30s and or even earlier. 
 "More and more research  is suggesting that lifestyle  is very important to  your brain's health," says Dr Paul Nussbaum, a neuro-psychologist and an  adjunct associate professor  at the University of  Pittsburgh School of   Medicine "If you want to live a long, healthy  life, then many of us need  to start as early as we can.   
"So what can you do to beef up your brain – and possibly ward off dementia?”
Dr Nussbaum, who recently gave a speech on the topic for the Winter Park (Fla.) Health Foundation,  offers 20 tips that may help to  ward off dementia.

1.*Join clubs or organizations that  need volunteers*.  If you start volunteering now, you won't feel lost and unneeded after you retire.

2.*Develop a hobby or two*. Hobbies help you develop a robust brain because you're  trying something new and complex.

3.*Practice  writing with your non-dominant hand several minutes  everyday*. This will exercise the  opposite side of your brain and fire up those neurons. 

4.*Take dance  lessons*.  In a study of nearly 500 people, dancing was the only regular physical  activity associated with a significant decrease in the incidence of dementia,  including Alzheimer's disease. The people who danced three or four times a week showed 76% less incidence of dementia than those who danced only once a week  or not at all. 

5. Need a hobby? *Start gardening*.  Researchers in New Zealand found that, of 1,000 people, those who gardened regularly were less likely to suffer from dementia. Not only does gardening reduce stress, but gardeners use their brains to plan garden they use visual and spatial reasoning to lay out a garden. 

6.*Buy a pedometer and walk 10,000 steps a day*. Walking daily can reduce the risk of dementia because cardio vascular health is important to maintain blood flow to the  brain.

 7.*Read and write daily*. Reading stimulates a wide variety of brain areas that process and store information. Likewise, writing (not copying) stimulates many areas of the brain as well.

 8.*Start  knitting*.  Using both hands works both sides of your brain. And it's a stress reducer. 

9.*Learn a new language*.  Whether it's a foreign language  or sign language,  you are working your brain by making it go back and  forth  between one  language and the other.
A researcher in England found that being bilingual seemed to delay symptoms of Alzheimer's disease for four years. (And some research suggests that the earlier a child learns sign language, the higher his IQ - and people with high IQs are less likely to have dementia.  So start them early.) 

10.*Play board games such as Scrabble and Monopoly*. Not only are you  taxing your brain,  you're socializing too.  (Playing solo games, such  as solitaire  or online  computer brain games can be helpful, but Dr  Nussbaum prefers  games that  encourage you to socialize too.) *MAHJONG IS GOOD!* besides which there is the incentive of $$$.

11.*Take classes throughout your  lifetime*.   Learning produces structural and chemical changes in the  brain, and education appears to help people live longer. Brain researchers  have found that people with advanced degrees live longer - and if they do have  Alzheimer's, it often becomes apparent only in the very later stages of the  disease.

12.*Listen to classical music*. A growing volume of research suggests that  music may hardwire the brain, building links between  the two hemispheres.
 Any kind of music may work, but there's some  research that shows positive effects for  classical music, though researchers don't understand why.

13.*Learn a  musical instrument*.  It may be harder than it was  when you were a kid,  but you'll be developing a dormant part of your  brain. 

14.*TRAVEL*. When you travel (whether it's to a distant vacation spot or on a different route across town), you're forcing your brain to navigate a new and complex environment. 
A study of London taxi drivers found  experienced drivers had larger brains because they have to store lots of information about locations and how to navigate there.

15.*Pray*.  Daily prayer appears to help your immune system. And people who attend a formal worship service regularly live longer and report  happier, healthier lives. 

16. *Learn to meditate*.  It's important for your brain that you learn to shut out the stresses of everyday life.

17.*Get enough sleep*. Studies have shown a link between interrupted sleep and  dementia.

 18.*Eat more  foods containing Omega-3  fatty acids*. 
 Salmon, sardines, tuna, ocean trout, mackerel  or herring, plus walnuts (which are higher in Omega 3s than salmon) and flaxseed.  
Flaxseed oil, cod liver oil and walnut oil are good sources too.

19.*Eat more  fruits and vegetables*.  Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables mop up some of the  damage caused by free radicals, one of the leading killers of brain  cells.

20.*Eat at least one meal a day  with family and friends*.  You'll slow down, socialize, and  research shows you'll eat healthier food than if  you ate alone or on the  go. 

21.* In addition, I think  receiving and distributing e-mails every day helps  the brain function and exercise!!*


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