Alzheimers Association encourages all Americans to live brain-healthy lifestyles
The Alzheimers AssociationGreater Illinois Chapter is hosting a 90-minute workshop, Maintain Your Brain®: How to Live a Brain Healthy Lifestyle, Tuesday, April 25 for everyone interested in how the brain and memory work, and how to live a brain-healthy lifestyle.
The workshop will be at the Boone County Council on Aging, 2141 Henry Luckow Lane, Belvidere, beginning at 6 p.m. Pre-registration is encouraged. Register online at www.alzheimers-illinois.org or call (815) 484-1300.
The health of our brains plays a critical role in almost everything we do, from thinking, feeling and remembering, to working, playing and even sleeping, said Melody Pearson, program manager for the Alzheimers AssociationGreater Illinois Chapter.
The good news is there is a lot we can do to help keep our brains healthier as we age. The Alzheimers Association encourages baby boomers and all Americans to live a brain-healthy lifestyle as increasing evidence shows that healthy lifestyle habits, such as being heart smart, eating a brain-healthy diet, staying physically and mentally active, and staying socially involved contribute to healthier aging and also may decrease the risk for Alzheimers.
The Alzheimers AssociationGreater Illinois Chapter invites everyone interested in brain healthparticularly baby boomersto the 90-minute interactive and research-based workshop that features information on how the brain works, as well as strategies and scientifically rooted advice on lifestyle choices to keep memory sharp, including challenging mental activities, being physically active, engaging in social interactions and adopting a brain-healthy diet. The workshop also features exercises, activities and take-home reference materials.
Since the launch of the Alzheimers Associations Maintain Your Brain® campaign, the public has been asking us for clear guidance on what they can do to keep their brains healthy and reduce their risk of getting Alzheimers disease, Pearson said. As part of this campaign, the Alzheimers Association has developed the following 10 ways to maintain your brain.
10 Ways to Maintain Your Brain®
1. Head FirstGood health starts with your brain, so dont take it for granted. Its one of the most important body organs and needs care and maintenance.
2. Take Brain Health To HeartHeart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke can increase your risk of Alzheimers.
3. Your Numbers CountKeep your body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels within recommended ranges.
4. Feed Your BrainEat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet that features dark-skinned vegetables and fruits, foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins E and C, B12, folate and Omega-3 fatty acids.
5. Work Your BodyPhysical exercise keeps the blood flowing and encourages new brain cells. It doesnt have to be a strenuous activity; do what you canwalking 30 minutes a dayto keep both body and mind active.
6. Jog Your MindKeeping your brain active and engaged increases its vitality and builds reserves of brain cells and connections. Read, write, play games, do crossword puzzles.
7. Connect With OthersLeisure activities that combine physical, mental and social elements are most likely to prevent dementia. Be social, converse, volunteer, join.
8. Heads Up! Protect Your BrainTake precautions against injuries. Use your car seat belts, unclutter your house to avoid falls, and wear a helmet when cycling.
9. Use Your HeadAvoid unhealthy habits. Dont smoke, drink excessive alcohol or use street drugs.
10. Think AheadStart Today!You can do something today to protect your tomorrow.
Alzheimers (AHLZ-high-merz) is a progressive disease that destroys brain cells and gradually destroys a persons memory and ability to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate and carry out daily activities. Alzheimers can last from three to 20 years, with eight years being the average. Many scientists believe Alzheimers develops over several decades before someone begins showing symptoms of the disease.
Today, more than half a million people in Illinois are affected by Alzheimersincluding 210,000 people who have Alzheimers, plus their family members and caregivers. Nationally, more than 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimers disease. One in 10 Americans say they have a family member with Alzheimers, and one in three know someone with the disease.
The Alzheimers Association, the world leader in Alzheimer research and support, is the largest voluntary health organization dedicated to finding prevention methods, treatments and an eventual cure for Alzheimers. Since 1980, the donor-supported, nonprofit Alzheimers Association has provided reliable information and care consultation; created supportive services for families; increased funding for dementia research; and influenced public policy changes. The Alzheimers AssociationGreater Illinois Chapter serves 68 counties in Illinois with offices in Bloomington, Carterville, Chicago, Joliet, Kankakee, Rockford, Skokie and Springfield. For more information, visit www.alzheimers-illinois.org or call the chapter Helpline at (800) 272-3900.
From the April 19-25, 2006, issue