Brain health can help hold off Alzheimer’sPublished 5:48pm Saturday, September 1, 2012
Maybe it starts with simply forgetting something. You can’t remember the route to a restaurant you’ve been to many times before or the birthday present a friend gave you a month ago. Then comes the worry. Is your forgetfulness a sign of something serious, like Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia?
Such brain freezes happen to most of us, to different degrees, as we age. Even experienced public speakers have their “Oops” moments, when a word or term they use on a daily basis simply refuses to come to mind.
But while such common memory lapses are frustrating, they don’t necessarily mean Alzheimer’s is at the door. If your lapses aren’t disrupting your life, there’s no need to be actively worried, experts say. If that’s happening, you should consult your doctor. Your lapses may well have very treatable causes. Severe stress, depression, a vitamin B12 deficiency, insufficient sleep, some prescription drugs and infections can all play a role.
Even if these factors don’t apply to you, your memory isn’t completely at the mercy of time. Studies have shown that people who exercise, stay mentally active, socialize regularly and eat a healthy diet can minimize memory loss.
Alzheimer’s isn’t inevitable. Many experts now believe you can prevent or at least delay dementia — even if you have a genetic predisposition. Reducing Alzheimer’s risk factors like obesity, diabetes, smoking and low physical activity by just 25 percent could prevent up to half a million cases of the disease in the United States, according to a recent analysis from the University of California in San Francisco.
Here is one way we can boost our brain health now:
“If you do only one thing to keep your brain young, exercise,” says Art Kramer, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Illinois. Higher exercise levels can reduce dementia risk by 30 to 40 percent compared with low activity levels, and physically active people tend to maintain better cognition and memory than inactive people. “They also have substantially lower rates of different forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease,” Kramer says.
Working out helps your hippocampus, the region of the brain involved in memory formation. As you age, your hippocampus shrinks, leading to memory loss. Exercise can reverse this process, research suggests. How you work up a sweat is up to you, but most experts recommend 150 minutes a week of moderate activity. Even a little bit can help: “In our research as little as 15 minutes of regular exercise three times per week helped maintain the brain,” says Eric B. Larson, M.D., executive director of Group Health Research Institute in Seattle.
If you would like to start a new exercise program or just extend what you do the Senior Center has many to choose from. If your just starting out or if you want a vigorous work out we have it all. From Tai-chi to Zumba you can choose the workout that best suites you. For more information call Teresa at 433-2370 ext. 6. We would love to see you there. Lets age well together. You are always welcome at the Senior Center!
Tuesday: Silver Sneakers, 8:30 a.m.; Exercise with Evie, 9 a.m.; cards (Pinochle, Duplicate Bridge), 12:30 p.m.; art class, 1 p.m.; Silver Sneakers, 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: Tai Chi, 9:30 a.m.; cards (Pinochle, Duplicate Bridge), 12:30 p.m.; Stitching Bees, 1 p.m.; open chess, 1 p.m.
Thursday: Silver Sneakers, 8:30 a.m.; Defensive Driving, 9 a.m.; Exercise with Evie, 9 a.m.; cards (Pinochle, Duplicate Bridge), 12:30 p.m.; Bingo, 1 p.m.; Art Class 1, p.m.; open chess, 1 p.m.; computer class, 2 p.m.; Silver Sneakers, 4:30 p.m.
Friday: Tai Chi, 9:30 a.m.; cards (Bridge), 12:30 p.m.
Weekly Card Results
Aug. 20, three tables
1st Mabel Vaale, 2nd Harriet Oldenberg, 3rd Quentin Fiala, 4th Joyce Fadness, 5th Ray Schmidt
Tuesday Duplicate Bridge
Aug. 21, five tables
1st Loren Cleland, 1st Dave Ring; 2nd Gail Schmidt, 2nd Ray Schmidt; 3rd Jim Fisher, 3rd Bud Higgins; 4th Mabel Vaale
4th Russ Vaale.
Aug. 21, four tables
1st Dorothy Stern, 2nd Buelah Luthe, 3rd Eddie Hall, 4th Willard Ballantyne
Elaine Reynolds, Jaynard Johnson
Aug. 24, four tables
1st Mary Johnsen, 2nd Arnie Lang, 3rd Pat Swenson, 4th Joyce Crowe, 5th Loretta Nelson, 5th Mable Vaale
Aug. 22, 1/4 tables
1st Loretta Nelson, 2nd Dorothy Schloo, 3rd Jessie Swain.
Aug. 24, four tables
1st Beulah Luthe, 2nd Gene Rauen, 3rd Willard Ballantyne, 4th Arlys Spurlin
Semcac Daily Meals
Tuesday: Onion smothered beef steak
Wednesday: Ham balls
Thursday: Baked chicken
Friday: Beef Pot Roast