Exercises to Decrease Forgetfulness and Prevent Alzheimer’s

Prevention, Alzheimer's disease, forgetfulness, aging, risk factors, brain exercises, quality of life, family, memory, learning, memorize, puzzles, details, tips from townOriginally posted 2013.

Misplaced car keys, forgotten appointments, can’t place that woman’s name? It’s very natural to be forgetful on occasion and yes, it does tend to occur more often as we age. How do we know when it may be a sign of something more serious or an indication of possible Alzheimer’s? Still somewhat of an enigma, we do know Alzheimer’s is an age related (usually after 65) disease affecting the brain and subsequently a person’s memory, ability to think and eventually their ability to perform daily tasks.

Among the risk factors there may be a hereditary component too. If someone in your family had it, you may have a 5% increase in your risk of developing this disease. It results in a huge negative impact on the quality of life of the effected and is emotionally devastating for family members. It is also the 6th leading cause of death in North America with no known cure. There is good news though, the risk of developing the disease can be reduced through healthy lifestyle habits including no smoking.

Read BRAIN FOOD: 5 Food That Can Improve Your Cognitive Function

Other key components to prevention include maintaining a healthy diet, physical activity (2-3x/week of aerobic AND strength training), and brain exercises to help “strengthen” or sharpen the mind and ward off Alzheimer’s.

1. Keep Learning – new languages, courses, new hobbies

2. Memorization – names, faces, dates, places, facts

3. Puzzle Books – Sudoku, Word puzzles, Logic problems (try Lumosity – you can even get the phone app – my hubby and I are addicted)

4. Describe – provide a detailed account of something in your day (assume the role of journalist and provide the 5 W’s and How)

5. Mix it Up – Take different driving, walking, running, cycling route – make your brain work rather than go on autopilot

6. Balance and Coordination – combine physical and mental exercises by doing agility drills requiring quick foot patterns, balance and hand/eye movements

 If you are concerned about your memory (or someone you know) try this Memory Quiz to determine if you’re just forgetful or may need to see a doctor. 

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Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Physician, Wellness Coach, and founder of Tips From Town. She is passionate about sharing her medical expertise, her coaching techniques and her parenting experience to encourage happier and healthier lives.


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