Seniors need to exercise brains as well as bodies
Ted Hubert

Who would not like to find ways to make better decisions and have a healthier brain? Last week the American Society on Aging (ASA) held a conference which offered tips on ways to feed and exercise the brain.

Number one is a brain healthy diet. Research has shown diets can reduce the chances of heart disease and strokes through brain healthy foods.

Cold water fish has Omega 3 and should be eaten more than once a week.

Dark skinned vegetables and fruits have higher levels of antioxidants There comes a time in our lives when we must eat the foods that like us rather than the foods we like.

We must be careful when the term “diet” is used. Diets are short-term. A better term is lifestyle because the term suggests that changes are permanent rather than temporary.

It helps to reduce the amount of foods high in fat and cholesterol. Good blood supply to the brain is essential.

The tough part is to do things differently than you did in your younger days. Changes need to be made. For example, you need to plan your meals before making the shopping list. Keeping healthy in the home leads to proper eating and you need to bake or grill the food and not fry it.

Why do fried foods taste so good?

Exercise keeps the body and brain healthy. Your brain can grow. It can muscle up so-tospeak.

There is space to increase brain strength. Some simple exercises are suggested. Try using the other hand to comb your hair or brush your teeth.

Try eating with the opposite hand.

Do you remember the patting your head and rubbing your stomach?

Try this one. Hold your hands in front and on the left hand lift the thumb and on the right hand extend the little finger. Now switch them by dropping the thumb on the left hand and extend the little finger and on the right hand pull the little finger into the fist and lift the right thumb.

The mental exercise is to do this as fast as you can. Stay active and move about. Sitting in the chair watching TV is relaxing, but it can be an excuse not to get up and get out.

Physical activities will keep the body and brain in top shape. Cleaning house, weeding the garden, washing the car, going for walks are ways to be physically active.

Inviting someone to share in these activities would help you from entering a depressed mood.

It is important to get out of the home and join the crowds. Get involved in clubs, volunteer work, play games with others or whatever to get your mind off your emotional isolation which is detrimental to brain health.

The human need for spirituality was revealed in recent studies. There is a startling link between spirituality and brain function. The power comes through prayer, medication, and spiritual practices which affects the brain profoundly and can contribute to brain health.

A study found that regular physical activity, not smoking, eating fruits and vegetables, and a moderate intake of alcohol will increase longevity.

Longevity is believed to be 30% genetics and 70% lifestyle.

OPEN HOUSE—Saturday the Milano VFD Shelter will hold its open house.

Refreshments are at 6 p.m. and the program starts at 6:30 p.m.

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2013-09-26 digital edition

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