Brain Health - Successful Aging
Alzheimer's Foundation of America
The key to successful aging is a healthy, common sense lifestyle. The goals are to slow or prevent the loss of brain cells, maintain the brain's capacity to make up for any loss, and let remaining brain cells function well. This requires a healthy body, mind and spirit.Here are some tips for successful aging:
- Visit your doctor regularly.
- Participate in activities that stimulate your brain, such as reading, crossword puzzles, playing bridge, and other mental exercises.
- Manage stress through techniques such as relaxation, meditation and yoga.
- Treat depression. Depressed elders have higher rates of dementia, lower quality of life and higher rates of death.
- Be social. Maintaining a network of friends will lessen the likelihood of isolation and depression while increasing the overall level of brain stimulation.
- Exercise daily, such as walking 30 minutes per day. Physical activity significantly lessens the chance of cardiovascular complications that could cause dementia.
- Control hypertension, diabetes and heart disease - risk factors for dementia - through physical exercise, quitting smoking, controlling blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and avoiding obesity.
- Follow a healthy diet and take vitamins, including vitamins C and E, and folic acid.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol has a direct toxic effect on the brain that adds to the loss of nerve cells and synapses.
©2007 Alzheimer's Foundation of America. All Rights Reserved.