Did you know November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month? According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. Maintaining brain health is important for all of us. Here is information on four lifestyle factors to promote brain health.
People who continue to learn new things and enjoy new activities can expand their minds in ways that may help to build connections in the brain and support brain function. Activities like learning a new dance or trying a new walking route can help facilitate mental engagement. Try getting involved with the National Center for Creative Aging. Visit the online directory of aging programs in America to find something in your area.
Your brain thrives on a healthy diet, just like the rest of your body, so feeding it brain-healthy foods can help support brain health. A study published online in the Alzheimer’s Association journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association called the MIDAS Study found healthy adults (55 years of age and older) with mild memory complaints who took 900 mg of algal DHA capsules for six months had almost double the reduction in errors on a test that measures learning and memory performance, versus those who took a placebo, providing a benefit roughly equivalent to having the learning and memory skills of someone three years younger. Try including DHA-fortified beverages and foods into your diet or taking an algal DHA supplement like Algal-900 to ensure you have DHA in your diet to support brain health.
Social connectedness can be another important aspect to supporting brain health. Mental stimulation and social resources are just a few of the benefits of having a social network. Try joining a chess or book club to provide both mental stimulation and the opportunity to meet new people.
Physical exercise is important for good overall health at any age and can also be important for brain health. Dr. David Perlmutter, neurologist and author of “Grain Brain” and “The Better Brain Book” recommends 20 minutes of uninterrupted aerobic exercise at least six times a week. Try taking a bike ride or joining a local gym.
What tips do you have to help maintain brain health during Alzheimer’s Awareness Month?