September 9


4 Strategies to Brain Fitness (and Reduced Risk of Alzheimer’s)

By Staff Writer

Alzheimer's, exercise, Reduce Stress, stress

Everywhere you look there seems to be stories about Alzheimer’s and what causes Alzheimer’s, as well as what kinds of things you can do to stay sharp as you get older.

Did you know that Alzheimer’s is the most feared disease in the United States?

The more we see our loved ones slip away from us mentally while their body lives on, the more we feel compelled to make sure that doesn’t happen to us and to our children.

It seems like one of the biggest culprits as play here is the blood vessels that feed your brain cells. Keep them healthy and your brain has a lot more chance of staying healthy too.

What does that mean?

bigstock-Closeup-view-of-cholesterol-pl-40943992It means that you want to pay attention to the various lifestyle factors that play into high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and inflammation.

Take this advice from Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen, author’s of the YOU book series, covering topics like weight loss, healthy eating, staying young, and having a baby.

1. Exercise.

We have all learned by now that exercise is the answer to life, the universe, and everything in it. Well, maybe not all of that, but it does help in SO many ways. Even if your exercise is not intense, moving your body regularly will increase blood flow, and that is a good thing!

For even more benefit from exercise, though, amp up the intensity and be sure to add in strength training and stretching.

Not only does are fit people more than 1/3 more likely to develop Alzheimer’s, exercise helps control weight, and obese people have twice as much risk of getting Alzheimer’s (see our earlier post on the 7 ways cardiovascular exercise increases brain fitness).

2. Healthy Diet.

Where there is exercise there is always diet, right? No exception when it comes to Brain Fitness! A healthy diet that is high in bigstock-Ingredients-for-a-Greek-salad--35792756good fats and Omega-3’s, lots of fruits and vegetables of varied colors, whole grains and lean protein will go a long way to reduce your cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

3. Reduce Stress.

Where there is stress there is inflammation, and that can cause all kinds of difficulties if left unattended. Chronic inflammation damages your cells and your blood vessels, and leads to diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.

You cannot keep stress from being part of your life, and it actually serves a useful purpose too. But you can take action to mitigate the impacts of stress. Regular deep breathing, yoga and meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, taking a walk in nature, spending time with friends and family, and pursuing your interests will all help to reduce the impacts of stress.

4. Environmental Factors.

There are some factors that are beyond your control. For example, if you live in a city with lots of traffic, you will have more exposure to exhaust and other pollutants than those who live in rural communities. But you can make the choice to give up smoking, and to filter your drinking water. Pollutants can also be a cause of inflammation.

About the author

Our staff writers come from various backgrounds in the neuroscience, personal development, brain science and psychology fields. Many started out as with us as contributors!

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