Alzheimer's & Dementia: Physical Fitness Is Good, But Your Brain Needs Exercise, Too! by Belinda Lichty Clarke
It's likely that someone you know has a parent with Alzheimer's disease, and it's hard not to worry that it might happen to us, too. Regular exercise and a healthy diet are crucial to maintaining a healthy body, but your brain needs care and feeding, too. In fact, engaging in certain activities helps promote brain health and reduces the risk or slows the progression of brain degeneration, according to Dr. Demetrius (Jim) Maraganore, chairman of the department of neurology and medical director of the NorthShore University HealthSystem Neurological Institute in Glenview, Ill.
To help keep the mind sharp, Dr. Maraganore recommends stimulating mental activities daily. “Mental exercise includes reading, performing crossword puzzles, Sudoku, playing board games, learning or utilizing a foreign language, playing a musical instrument or some computer games,” he says.
Dr. Maraganore adds that social activity is also important. “Get out of the home as able, visit with friends and family, have stimulating conversations, participate in community activities or other social groups, etc.”
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