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How’s Your Brain Health?

March 11, 2010

With predictions signaling a large increase in the number of cases of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in the years to come, it makes sense to do what we can to preserve brain health at every age and from physical, nutritional and spiritual perspectives. Emeritus Senior Living just introduced a fast and easy Brain Health Assessment tool on their website at that allows you to take a three minute quiz and get immediate feedback on your current brain health lifestyle plus some guidance for improvement. The questions are in five key areas and your answers will show where and how you might want to put some effort: the social and emotional—we need strong, healthy relationships, and older adults who isolate and segregate are at risk for dementia; the physical—exercises like running, walking, stretching and dancing use both sides of the brain and body, increase oxygen to the brain and relate to reduced risk of dementia; the mental and intellectual—focus on activities considered “aerobics for the brain” and keep your mind challenged and active by playing board games, learning a second language, travel, reading and other options to promote brain health; the nutritional—aim for a diet high in essential nutrients like the anti-aging antioxidants found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables and the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, walnuts, almonds and flax seeds to promote brain health; and the spiritual—from meditation to personal reflection to prayer, consider developing your sense of purpose, meaning and hope, and take time to relax, relieve stress and sleeping regular hours, all of which relate to cognitive efficiency, say the experts at Emeritus.