Submitted by: Jim Herlihy
Senior Marketing & Communications Director
New Year’s resolutions are an annual tradition for many people. Work out more…eat less…take up a new hobby…
For those who want to do something meaningful that can have long-term benefits, the Alzheimer’s Association suggests that adults – particularly older adults – begin practicing 10 Ways to Love Your Brain to support their own physical and cognitive health.
- Break a sweat. Engage in regular cardiovascular exercise that elevates your heart rate and increases blood flow to the brain and body.
- Hit the books. Formal education in any stage of life – even a class at a local college or community center – will help reduce your risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
- Butt out. Evidence shows that smoking increases risk of cognitive decline.
- Follow your heart. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke – obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes – negatively impact your cognitive health.
- Heads up! Brain injury can raise your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Wear a seatbelt, use a helmet when playing contact sports or riding a bike, and take steps to prevent falls.
- Fuel up right. Eat a healthy and balanced diet that is lower in fat and higher in vegetables and fruit to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
- Catch some Zzz’s. Not getting enough sleep due to conditions like insomnia or sleep apnea may result in problems with memory and thinking.
- Take care of your mental health. Some studies link a history of depression with increased risk of cognitive decline, so seek medical treatment if you have symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns.
- Buddy up. Staying socially engaged may support brain health. Pursue social activities that are meaningful to you.
- Stump yourself. Challenging your mind may have short and long-term benefits for your brain. Complete a jigsaw puzzle. Play games, like bridge, that make you think strategically.
To learn more about Alzheimer’s Association programs and services, call the free 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900 or visit www.alz.org/co