The 4 Pillars of Alzheimer's Prevention
Pillar 3: Exercise Physical, Mental and Mind/Body
Contrary to popular belief, memory loss is neither a normal nor natural process of aging. But, if you want to maintain the strength and vitality of your brain as you age, you must take a proactive role. Just as your body needs strength-building exercise to keep your muscles fit, so does your brain.
Let's take a look at the benefits of both forms of exercise and introduce you to the exciting practice of brain aerobics - mental gymnastics for your brain!
The Importance of Physical Exercise
Did you know that regular physical exercise can reduce your risk for developing Alzheimer's disease by up to a stunning 50%? Moreover, studies have shown that women from age 40 to 60 who exercised regularly were seen to have a dramatic reduction in cognitive decline. That's right; they kept their brain power at optimal strength! More recent findings suggest that an overall active lifestyle is the key to brain and body health.
To see the best benefits of your exercise program, research demonstrates that you should do the equivalent of walking a minimum of 20 minutes, three times a week. Other great ways to get in your aerobic exercise include jogging, dancing, swimming, and playing tennis.
Anything that gets your heart pumping and your muscles moving is heading you in the right direction to better overall health. Plus, be sure to remember to include strength training (e.g., weights, resistance machines, isometrics, etc.) to maintain your muscle mass and prevent osteoporosis and related illness.
Keep reading to discover how you can work out your brain to keep it in the same good shape as your renewed body.
Benefiting from Brain Gymnastics
Neurologists report that mental exercise can reduce your chance of developing Alzheimer's disease by up to 70%. With numbers like that, it's amazing that everyone isn't exercising their brains more often. Get a head start by spending at least 20 minutes, three times a week doing mental exercises.
Don't know what brain gymnastics are? It's simple... Whenever you challenge your brain with novel tasks (anything new or different), you're exercising your brain and improving brain function. In order for an activity to be considered brain gymnastics, three conditions must be met. The activity needs to:
- Engage your attention.
- Involve more than one of your senses.
- Break a routine activity in an unexpected, nontrivial way.
Some examples of fantastic, brain-building mental exercises include reading, writing, playing board games, and doing crossword puzzles.
For more fun examples of innovative brain aerobics, contact us for a copy of our brochure: The Power of Brain Gymnastics - Maximize Your Memory.
Healing Your Brain with Mind/Body Exercise
In addition to brain gymnastics, mind/body exercise has proven to be an effective way to increase the amount of blood flow going to your brain and improve your memory. Combining the best principles of oriental medicine with the best of Western medical research, the Kirtan Kriya (a yoga meditation) has been clinically proven over the years to be very useful and now it can benefit you, too.
To learn more about the Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation research about an innovative mind/body medical exercise click here.