Mens Sana in Corpore Sano (A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body)

Friday, August 21 2010

Exercise your mind. Exercise your body. Get enough vitamin D.

Lower your risk of developing dementia.

As anyone who's struggled with a loved one's Alzheimer's disease knows, there's not much in the way of medication that can help. And the few meds that DO help are prohibitively expensive for most.

We're discovering more and more articles discussing low cost -- and even NO cost -- ways to stave off declining mental acuity.

We included two such articles in our July research report. The first, "Alzheimer's Advances Yet to Provide New Treatments," while admitting that there aren't any promising new Alzheimer's treatments on the horizon, reports that moderate to heavy exercisers cut their risk of developing dementia in half, compared with less active people. There's no need for fancy health club memberships. Taking brisk walks outdoors would seem to qualify. And you get the added bonus of vitamin D from the sun.

The second article, "Brain Training" describes a computer game that is design to improve visual perception. I'd guess jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku and crossword puzzles would probably work just as well. And the scientist surmises that if physical exercise maintains physical fitness, mental exercise is likely to maintain mental fitness. So again, we have the "healthy body, healthy mind connection.

As a reminder, in our June report we included a nutrition-based article "Apple Juice Improves Behavior but Not Cognition in Alzheimer's Patients, Study Finds."

Read our comments on the Apple Juice article

Category: Now You Know
Filed under: Aging; Exercise; Food/Nutrition; Mental Health