World Alzheimer's Month Brought to you by Senior Extra at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center

MOORESVILLE, NC (September 6, 2013) – Fitness for your brain

When we hear about fitness, most often we think about physical fitness and how important exercise is for our overall health. But what about brain fitness? Just as exercise and other healthy habits are important for our physical health, there are certain things you can do to help keep your mind healthy.

September is World Alzheimer’s Month and Lake Norman Regional Medical Center’s Senior Extra program would like to share some tips to help keep your brain healthier as you age.

What are dementia and Alzheimer’s?

Dementia is not considered a normal part of aging. It isn’t a specific disease, but rather encompasses a range of symptoms associated with a loss of memory or thinking skills that can make everyday tasks difficult. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.

Although it can occur in younger people, dementia most often affects those age 60 and older, and the risk increases with age. In addition to affecting memory, language and decision-making abilities, dementia can also cause changes in mood — including anxiety, irritability and depression — behavior, and personality.

Tips for a healthy brain

Although it's natural to lose some mental agility as we age, there are steps you can take to keep your brain healthier and possibly lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's or other dementias. The health care team at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center recommends you:

  • Get physical exercise regularly. Exercise helps maintain good blood flow to the brain and encourages new cell growth. Aerobic exercise helps improve oxygen consumption, which in turn benefits brain function. Physical activity doesn’t have to be strenuous, just as long as you do it regularly. Just 30 minutes of walking, biking, swimming, yoga, tai chi, or even gardening can offer benefits.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and avoid foods high in fat and cholesterol. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, a long-term study showed that individuals who were obese in middle age were twice as likely to develop dementia later in life. Studies have also shown that foods high in fat and cholesterol are associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer's.

About Senior Extra

Ever-changing advancements in health care allow us to live longer and improve our overall health. Providing the latest information about health advancements through monthly seminars and events is just one facet of Senior Extra. To sign up for a free membership, visit www.SeniorExtra.com.

About Lake Norman Regional Medical Center

Lake Norman Regional Medical Center offers comprehensive medical care to individuals throughout the greater Lake Norman region. Located just off I-77 at Exit 33, the Mooresville medical campus offers complete specialty services from 24-hour emergency medicine and maternity to oncology and advanced surgical services. 

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Remember that this information is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor, but rather to increase awareness and help equip patients with information and facilitate conversations with your physician that will benefit your health.