As we age, dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s, become more of a risk.
And yes, genetics most likely play a role.
But new research suggests your choice of daily activities may be more important than your genetics —or even your current cognitive state—when it comes to prevention.
The trick, it seems, is to do a variety of activities, every single day.
The best part? We’re talking about SIMPLE daily tasks.
Let me explain…
Staying busy is the secret
Researchers from Canada’s Simon Fraser University discovered that a combination of different hobbies could halt cognitive decline in older subjects better than any single activity. And these benefits increased with age.
So, what exactly are these brain-boosting activities?
They’re simple things that you probably already do in your daily life.
The researchers looked at 33 different activities—including baking, cooking, reading, playing games, taking short walks, and socializing with family and friends (in-person or by phone, letter, or e-mail).
Ultimately, they found that the daily activities you choose to do are vital for warding off dementia through the years. In fact, this strategy proved more meaningful for brain preservation than other key factors, like education level and baseline memory
And considering how the number of people with dementia is set to triple by 2050, I’d say it’s high time we started taking this lifestyle “prescription” seriously.
We need more lifestyle “prescriptions”
I’ve been counseling patients about the importance of staying active (both physically and mentally) for years. Because the truth is, even things that don’t feel like work—word games, crossword puzzles, socializing with friends—do A LOT to keep your synapses well-oiled and firing on all cylinders.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we gave the same weight to these “prescriptions” as we do the pharmaceutical kind? I mean, what if there were centers in the community that you could visit to practice gardening, take art classes, or even volunteer?
Of course, those places do exist in many areas. I know New York City offers a ton of opportunities that help my senior patients to remain independent and socially active well into their golden years.
So, I encourage you to look for senior and community centers in your own area that offer the same. Because despite Big Pharma’s best efforts, there is still no conventional cure for dementia.
As always, prevention is the key. And in this case, especially, staying busy and engaged is the secret. Some of my favorite—and simplest—daily brain-boosting activities include cooking, reading, doing crossword puzzles, and walking my beloved beagle, Remington.
For additional ways to stay active and ward off dementia (along with many other chronic diseases), check out the current issue of my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter. I also reveal how creating your own “physical activity cocktail” helps make these daily activities even more enjoyable. Anxious to learn more? Become a subscriber today—you won’t want to miss this!
“Keeping active through varied activities can reduce risk of developing dementia.” Science Daily, 12/17/2021. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/12/211217102857.htm)