Gary Small, MD, director of the UCLA Longevity Center has recently published a book that suggests simple steps we can all try to keep our minds sharp. According to Dr. Small, if everyone in the U.S. added just one healthy habit, it could prevent or delay a million cases of Alzheimer’s disease that otherwise would be anticipated to occur over a period of five years.
The book is called The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program. It suggests, for example that exercise is a good way to keep your brain sharp. However, Dr. Small says “You don’t have to become a triathlete – park your car a bit of a distance from your destination. Take one flight of stairs. Start slowly and build up.” That sounds like pretty good advice… find little ways to get yourself started. He also talked about mental challenges people can try, such as crossword puzzles. That seems like an obvious choice… yet simple conversations you may have with friends about politics can work just as well. In fact, Dr. Small suggests having a net-work of friends can lower the risk of dementia by as much as 60 percent.
Finding ways to manage your stress, such as tai chi, or a walk with a friend can be beneficial… just don’t stress about your Alzheimer’s prevention plan! Small steps can take you a long way…. Readers Digest Dec/2011-Jan/2012

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