Alzheimer’s and dementia, two diseases that have been around for a long time, but thought by most of us as just some form of deterioration in the brain that occurred in certain old people. In recent years however, the more that we talk about this disease, the more we learn that it is not something that people just get as they age, it can happen to younger people as well. The brain is a muscle in the way, if you don’t exercise it, it will atrophy, but if you keep active and challenge yourself, your brain will stay more vital and vibrant.
You can build a better brain as you age. I have read countless of studies about Alzheimer’s, and dementia, and just simply what it takes to maintain a keen mind, and I have come up with these ten helpful items:
- Pick parent with really good genes, get a great education, study a second language
- engage in regular cognitive and physical activities
- Strengthen and maintain social ties
- Get out and explore new things, time in nature is invaluable to brains and central nervous system
- Be happy, maintain a sense of optimism
- Avoid mean and grumpy people who are always complaining and never happy
- Be conscientious and diligent in everything you do
- Spend time and engage in activities that are meaningful, help other people, but have fun whenever you can
- Be heart healthy, often what is good for the heart is good for the brain.
- Eat a mind diet, fresh fruit and vegetables and fresh fish, good fats like olive oil and avocado, although sparingly, don’t get carried away. Too much, even of a good thing, is still too much.
I can tell you these things, because I have worked with people for the past 30 years. I have seen which ones age best, and which ones suffer. Sometimes people get lucky, but more often than not, you get out of your life, and your body, what you put into it.