To maintain the brain, you must strain the brain! That is the advice of the Alzheimers Association. You should exercise your brain and nourish it well, and the sooner you start, the better.
~~ The Association is offering free classes around the country to teach people of any age, but especially Baby Boomers, just how to do it. They are calling the course "Maintain the Brain." Uh,oh!
They are singling out us Baby Boomers. We, who are the next class to graduate from the School of Hard Knocks and take up further studies of life under Social Security, are on the hot seat once again.
Their advice to us seems almost sophomoric and self-explanatory. Yet, it will certainly fall upon many deaf ears. Our brain is like a muscle - use it or lose it! We should try to do a new type of puzzle, learn to play chess, take a foreign language, or solve a vexing problem at work. Let's see, I already do a wide variety of puzzles. While I do know how to play chess, I find it boring. I speak no foreign language, but a little (very little) knowledge of Latin helps me figure out some of them when written. Now as for vexing problems at work, does deciding whether ot not to actually get up and go to work count?
~~Social stimulation is crucial. Belonging to a church or book club helps people age healthier. Declining social interaction leads to declining cognitive functions. I don't go to church that often, but I was brought up in a Christian environment. I don't belong to any book or garden clubs. I have a wood-crafting hobby that affords me a lot of social contact. Then of course, there are my trips into the Blogosphere.
~~People who suffer from chronic distress - extreme worriers - are twice as likely to develop some form of dementia. Now where did I put my glasses? Seriously though, for now my mind is pretty sharp and I don't let much of anything bother me.
~~The Association suggests that a three-pronged approach of something mentally, physically and socially stimulating is good for maintaining a healthy brain. Such activities could include coaching your child's ball team, taking dancing lessons, or even strategizing a round of golf. Coaching? Been there, done that! I can still cut a rug when I have to, but my frug and dirty dog are a little rusty. Since I don't play golf, just how in the heck do you strategize a round of golf?
~~Lastly, the Alzheimers Association wants to remind us to not forget our diet. The same foods that are heart-healthy are also good for he brain. We should avoid artery-clogging saturated fat and instead try omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and nuts. As for proper nutrition, I can see no reason to crack jokes. This is an area that I refer to as being sophomoric, but that applies to me. They wouldn't be promoting healthy eating if everyone were eating properly.