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Alzheimer’s and the Brain

Keep Your Brain Healthy to Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

When we think about staying fit, we generally think from the neck down. However, brain health plays a critical role in almost everything we do–thinking, feeling, reasoning, working, playing–even sleeping. The good news is we now know there are things we can do to keep our brain healthier as we age–and may reduce our risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Here are 10 ways to Maintain Your Brain:

1. Head First:
Good health starts with your brain. It’s a vital body organ that needs care and maintenance so make brain health a priority.

2. Take Brain Health to Heart:
What’s good for the heart is good for the brain. Do something every day to prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke–all of which can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s.

3. Numbers Count:
Keep your body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels within recommended ranges for your age, body mass and gender.

4. Feed your brain:
Stimulate your brain by eating less fatty and more antioxidant-rich foods.

5. Work your body:
Physical exercise keeps the blood flowing and may encourage new brain cells. Do what you can–like walking 30 minutes a day–to keep your body and mind active.

6. Jog your mind:
Keeping your brain engaged increases its vitality and builds reserves of brain cells. Read, write, play games, learn new things, do crossword puzzles.

7. Connect with others:
Leisure activities that combine physical, mental and social elements are likely to prevent dementia. Be social, converse, volunteer, join a club, take a class.

8. Heads up! Protect your brain:
Take precautions against head injuries. Buckle up with car seat belts, clear your house of obstacles to avoid falls and wear a helmet when cycling or skating.

9. Use your head:
Avoid unhealthy habits. Don’t smoke, drink alcohol to excess or use illegal drugs.

10. Think ahead:
Don’t wait for issues to arise. Do something today to protect your brain for tomorrow.

The Alzheimer’s Association

With more than a decade of service to the Coachella Valley, the Alzheimer’s Association provides family support programs, free and confidential services for those caring for someone at home, such as caregiver support groups; the Memory Makers Club for early stage Alzheimer’s patients; a 24/7 Helpline; and educational programming for healthcare providers and the public. With an estimated 11,000 plus Alzheimer’s families in the Coachella Valley, and a projected doubling of that number to more than 27,000 within 20 years, the Alzheimer’s Association brings help and hope to those facing the challenges of Alzheimer’s and related diseases. For more information, visit us online at www.alz.org/californiasouthland.

The 11th Annual Memory Walk that supports our local offices will take place on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at the Palm Desert Civic Center Park. To become a sponsor or to participate as an individual or team, visit our website at www.alzla.org/mw/cv. For more information call (888) 328-6767.

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