Tag Archives: aging

Tips for improving brainpower and preventing dementia

There’s is no cure for dementia or alzheimer’s, but in the quest for one, researchers are now able to offer evidence-based suggestions to help prevent early onset. Most of the tips are easy to implement. And the sooner you start, the better your chances of prevention.

1. Eat nuts, olive oil, flax seed, and fishAccording to research, it’s all in the omega-3 fatty acids, which might help prevent certain memory and mood problems.

2. Be bilingual –  Bilingual people tend to postpone dementia by several years compared to those who are monolingual, according to researchers in Toronto. If you don’t speak two languages, now is a good time to pick another one up. The challenge can help stimulate reserve parts of the brain. I hear Polish is fun. And who knows, perhaps mastering the tones of Chinese might even improve your pitch and singing skills.

3. Use the computer – It’s still not a good idea to sit at the computer all day long. Learning to use the computer can stimulate the brain, but the research specifically states it’s finding based on computer learning coupled with physical activity, which happens to be #4…

4. Exercise – Moderate activity is always a good thing! Some researchers say resistance training, like Pilates, is best for dementia prevention. Also high on the list is social exercise, like dancing, since studies suggest music also helps in preventing dementia, depression, and enhancing memory recall.

5. Drink – This is the fun one, but it’s also tricky. Certain studies link alcoholism to increased risk of dementia, yet others find moderate drinking, like a glass of wine with dinner, may actually help prevent it. Just another reason why “everything in moderation”, is a pretty darn good maxim to live by.

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Bottoms up…cause old age is a gamble

It comes down to this:

All those hours at the gym, healthy food choices, cutting back on the alcohol, quitting cigarettes… might not help you live longer.

…but, don’t stop trying, just in case it does.

That’s the message from researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.  Their findings indicate many centenarians have plenty of bad habits, and yet they keep going, making a case for genetics over lifestyle choices.

Keep in mind, currently only 1 in every 4,400 Americans makes it to 100. And although there is a strong case for genetics keeping these people going strong, the life expectancy in the US has jumped almost 10 years to 78.7 since the 1960s. This overall prolonged life is, in part, due to modern medicine and current health knowledge and prevention.

So, while the lucky genetic mutants may have bet the house and won, until researchers can figure out exactly why and apply it to the masses, they recommend you keep on that healthy eating and exercise regime. Damn.