How to Beat Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Alzheimer’s: The name alone sends shivers up most of our spines – and for good reason. This is where none of us want to go but many will.
My better half, Eileen, is a hospice nurse who works with the dying. Almost all her patients have varying degrees of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
There’s a big increase in these horrible diseases, and Eileen assures me it is something we definitely want to avoid if we can.
That said, there’s good news on the prevention side of this nightmare. And the solutions are actually easy: eat like the Greeks, exercise and stay mentally active.
At the top of the list is exercise. We never get enough.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 2.5 hours of exercise a week. That’s only 21 minutes a day.
And the types of things you can do to make this work are no-brainers…
- Park in the farthest space at the grocery store.
- Take a 15-minute walk after every meal.
- Don’t sit for extended periods; get up every hour and move around.
- Take the stairs.
We aren’t talking about running 10Ks or lifting weights. Simple and moderate does it.
On the food and diet side: olive oil, vegetables, fish, chicken and fruits. Oh, and the CDC was very specific… only two potions of beef and pork per month.
That one will be tough! I do love a steak, but I have already cut back to once a week. That’ll have to do for now.
And stay mentally active. The CDC says read, do crosswords (they really do work!) and visit museums. Scrabble is a fun social activity, and it’s mentally challenging. And it’s good for a few laughs. There’s nothing like trying to slip a made-up word by to make the game enjoyable.
Learning new things is the best mental exercise, and mental exercise will give us all the best shots at not losing ourselves sooner than we could otherwise.
Aging has many benefits. We don’t do as many dumb things as we used to. I know I have a much clearer understanding of the world and what to expect from it (which is not much in many cases). And it just seems easier to gloss over the less important aspects and focus on the really important things: family, friends and living every day.
The dark side for most of us will be Alzheimer’s, so do what you can now, and don’t give up the ship without a fight.