Brain train to help prevent Alzheimer’s.
Every week I run across new suggestions to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. That is very encouraging to me. Lately studies are showing results that can be measured and documented. The more they are able to do, the closer we get to slowing, treating, and preventing Alzheimer’s disease from affecting so many.
One of the more recent studies has shown that meditation increases grey matter. The focus, the relaxation, the calm concentration, actually show changes in MRI scans done on the brain before and after meditation.
Keeping your brain stimulated with plenty of mental activity is said to help grow new brain cells, as does exercise. The idea of growing new cells when you know cells die with age–more so with any form of dementia—is exciting to consider. If the brain can be stimulated, the cognitive reserve built up, it may lessen or seriously slow the disease.
Stimulate your brain with social activities, mental activities, as well as exercise. Work the puzzles, learn something new, play the guitar…do anything that keeps your mind active, rather than sit and stare at a television screen. This will help put more into your brain. The more that is in there the better. That is what cognitive reserve is.
Your brain needs a variety–cross training so to speak–just as the body does. One of the oft recommended game activities is a car racing game. It requires your brain to handle multiple tasks at once, which is so good for it. That is part of why playing a musical instrument in encouraged as well.
Incidentally, cross training in exercise is also shown to benefit the brain. While walking is one of the best exercises out there for any age, working with weights uses a different part of the brain that needs a work out too. It is all so interrelated.
Take a class, continue your education, learning something new. It all uses different parts of the brain and does different things to the brain.
Language skills—learn a second language is becoming one of the more recommended methods of working your brain. In studies MRI’s done there is actually change within the brain. In one study where English speakers were learning Chinese, within six weeks the brain actually showed rewiring in the neurons. That’s an amazing difference in a short amount of time.
Which should impress upon each of us still more reason to start learning another language. Not only can it be fun, but it may also improve the brain’s ability to function at a higher rate.
It’s wonderful seeing results that are working. It’s encouraging to see more and more positive reports. I hope there will be many more in the coming months.
You can learn more about brain training and other steps to take to lessen your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. With the huge number of baby boomers aging into retirement now, it’s urgent that you learn all you can.
To that end, I recently published a guide that can give you tips to work into your daily life. There is no guarantee, but anything you can do to stop or slow it is worth the effort.
The book includes information on foods, exercise, brain training and more.
Whatever else you do, start challenging your brain today, no matter how old you are. Find a game or puzzle you like, crosswords, sudoku, video games, and put it to work in a variety of ways. Don’t wait. Start now.