Seeing a loved one struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia is awful, to say the least. They are frustrated when they can’t remember things, and caregivers are frustrated by not being able to help.
While exercising your brain won’t prevent every case of Alzheimer’s or Dementia, it will have a positive impact on its function.
Other tried and true measures include eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight and getting adequate exercise for your body’s overall health.
Healthy brain activities
Here are some exercises and activities that can keep your brain in tip-top shape.
Crosswords and other word and number puzzles
These activities are good for stimulating the problem-solving and reasoning functions of the brain. They also affect the areas of the brain that control recall and memory. Games like these encourage healthy nerves.
Go to lectures and take classes
Did you know that the oldest person to graduate from college was a 99-year-old woman? You’re never old enough to stop learning. One indicator of a healthy brain is the ability to learn. It keeps your brain fit. Many colleges will allow older people to sit in on classes for free.
Any type of reading stimulates your brain and keeps it active. For an added benefit, discuss what you’ve been reading with another person or join a book club.
Spend time with children
Playing with children is fun and can have a significantly mood-boosting effect. Blood pressure, stress and heart rate are all decreased by spending time with children.
Do some gardening
It’s not known why gardening has such a positive effect on the brain, but it does. It may be the pleasure of hands digging in the soil, watching things grow or the time spent in the sunshine, soaking up Vitamin D, which is actually used to treat Dementia.
Try a new method of cooking
- Your brain will start to make new associations with food, some of which are based on your recall of the taste of different spices and combinations of flavors.
- Cooking in new ways helps the brain dream and fantasize while you wait for the food to cook. These are some of the first areas of the brain to falter in those who suffer from Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
Meditate or pray
When the brain is in a meditative or prayerful state, connections are made between the long-term and short-term memories.
Take up crafting
Crocheting, knitting and other needlework require the crafter to switch between small details and the larger whole, which improves memory. Creating artwork is also related to a feeling of self-confidence and satisfaction.
Learn a new language
Did you know that learning another language invigorates every part of your brain? It also helps you form a greater understanding of your own language and positively affects memory.
There are a whole variety of brain game apps that you can download on your tablet or smartphone. Different games and apps are meant to target specific brain functions.
Don’t get overwhelmed by thinking you have to start doing everything on this list at once. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet and exercising, then choose one or two things to start with. Add in some others or change up what you’re doing periodically to get the most benefit.