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Keeping your memory

By ninemsn staff
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Air date: Friday, June 8, 2012
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Keeping your memory

Alzheimer's is a tricky enemy. By the year 2050, one million Australians are expected to have some form of dementia and for most people; it will be Alzheimer's.

But there is good news. Hundreds of Australians are now taking part in trials to see the effect of physical and mental exercise on the brains of those who suffer from Alzheimer's and also, on the brains of those who don't.

Associate Professor Michael Valanzuela of the Brain and Mind Research Institute is hopeful test results will prove that challenging the brain and increasing physical exercise can delay the onset of the disease.

He lists five things you can do to help protect the brain from memory loss:

1. Test your blood pressure and if it’s high (i.e., hypertension), do something about it. Heart health is intimately related to brain health.

2. Complex mental activity, including learning new things and challenging the mind, is vital to brain health. This becomes even more important after retirement – take up a challenging (and fun) new hobby or past time.

3. Physical exercise is as good for the brain as it is for the body. Actively make activity part of your day-to-day life. Aim for at least a brisk walk 5 times a week.

4. Eat the Mediterranean way – fish instead of meat, more fruits and veges than anything else, lots of grains and pulses, simple carbs over refined sugar, olive oil instead of saturated fats. Minimize heavily processed and unnatural foods in your life.

5. Watch your habits – don’t smoke, drink in moderation (if you do), aim for a healthy weight.

For more information, visit Alzheimers Australia — www.fightdementia.org.au or call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

Lucky Lynne
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Lucky Lynne

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