Great Looking Turtle Checking Out Some Corn I Left Out for Squirrels
Mysteriously, Alzheimer’s disease is affecting 4.5 million Americans today. Researchers are hard at work finding ways to help those who are suffering as well as find ways to prevent more from joining them.
A new batch of research sheds light on some simple ways that we can begin protecting our minds today to avoid problems tomorrow.
- Drink more fruit and vegetable juice. Those who drink juice at least three times a week had a 75% lower risk of dementia. 75%!
- Sing as you workout. It sounds kind of, forgive the pun, off-beat, but singing while working out boosted brain retention for 70% of the participants in a Japanese study. Exercise sends blood to the brain, improving memory….and singing, perhaps, simply makes the exercise more enjoyable.
- Floss daily. There’s a connection between gum disease and Alzheimer’s. Bacteria from the mouth may cause chronic inflammation, which could impede blood flow to the brain.
- Challenge your mind each day. This one may seem obvious (especially compared to singing while you sweat and flossing), but this is one that the majority of people simply fail to do. DON’T get comfortable with what you know and what you’re able to do. To get comfortable is the beginning of the end. Push yourself each and every day to learn more, do more, and grow more. Take up new hobbies, read about fresh, new subjects, and brush up on facts you once knew by heart (state capitals, planets, Spanish, the elements, etc).
- Be Puzzled. Work crossword puzzles, jumbles, and word finds every day. What seems like play or doodling is actually stimulating you mind. Even basic word find puzzles are good for your brain.
Also, bear something else in mind: Don’t keep reading the same things or doing the same types of puzzles over and over again. What challenge is there in repetition? STRETCH your mind in new ways and constantly throw new things into the mix. For example, work all the crossword puzzles you want, but occasionally throw in new types of puzzles (Sudoku, Math-related puzzles, Word Jumbles, etc.). Read about your favorite subject daily – that’s very commendable, but also throw new subjects into the mix as often as possible. I love reading about animals, birds, and American history. I try to learn new things about these favorite areas each day. However, I also frequently throw new subjects into the mix and read about subjects I know very little about. Turtles were actually a recent fascination – after seeing a particularly large one on a History Channel show.
I’ve read just about everything you could ever hope to find on turtles now and could, if the situation presented itself, carry on a pretty darn good conversation about them.
Did you know that the earliest turtles actually had teeth and they couldn’t retract their heads? Kind of defeated the purpose of being a turtle, didn’t it?
Sometimes I’ll also study something that I’ve never been interested in – like astronomy or the weather. After reading about completely new subjects, they often become pretty fascinating to me. How mentally stimulating do you think that is?! Try it, I know you’ll benefit from these Self Studies as much as I do.
When we make a list of our personal goals – ways we’d like to improve our lives and strengthen our health – we should most definitely list strengthening our “Mental Fitness” at the top. Without that, what need would we have for the others on the list?