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June 07, 2012

More Ways Mature Adults can Increase Brain Power

Just as exercising your body decreases your risk of developing chronic diseases, new research indicates that exercising your mind can prevent or delay the development of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Many of the activities that benefit your body also benefit your mind.

The following activities and those in our previous post [LINK to previous post] will help keep your brain mentally sharp: 

  • Start moving. Pay attention to the physical side of life. The same activities that decrease risk factors for diabetes and obesity also decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. So quit smoking, eat a healthy diet, and engage in regular aerobic exercise and strength-training. An analysis by researchers at the University of California-San Francisco indicates that 500,000 cases of Alzheimer’s could be prevented every year by reducing risk factors 25%. Just 15 minutes of moderate exercise three times a week is enough to reduce dementia risk and maintain cognition and memory. Increasing exercise intensity can decrease dementia risk by as much as 40%. 
  • Eat fruits and veggies. Adopting a Mediterranean diet rich in fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts and beans reduced Alzheimer’s risk by up to 48% in Columbia University studies. 
  • Meditate. Use meditation to battle the chronic stress that interferes with memory function. Harvard researchers found that the meditation technique mindfulness-based stress reduction reduced brain levels of the harmful stress hormone cortisol.
  • Live a purposeful life. In a Rush University Medical Center study, adults who had goals and a sense of purpose were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

 All Kendal affiliates offer active communities with life-long learning opportunities that promote physical and mental well-being. Kendal at Oberlin even offers several opportunities for brain stimulation right on campus. Sign up to schedule a tour today



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