Exercises To Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of short-term memory and various cognitive capacities such as speaking or concentration. In reality, it is the most common form of dementia. In this article, we will look at some exercises to help you get your brain in action. Exercises like these might help you delay or completely prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease appears most in people who are 65 years or older. Life span is only up to 10 years after being diagnosed. It’s estimated that some 25 million people suffer from this disease.
How to prevent Alzheimer’s disease
There have been many advances since the disease was first discovered by Emil Kraepelin and Alois Alzheimer in 1906. However, there are still aspects of the disease that we don’t understand.
For example, we still don’t know what exactly causes it to appear. However, we do know that we can fight to prevent Alzheimer’s disease before we get older.
Doing certain exercises and eating certain foods can’t guarantee we won’t suffer from Alzheimer’s when we get old, but it may help and we can at least say that we tried.
There are many factors that influence the appearance of this mental erosion caused by cerebral oxidation. Among them we find stress, arteriosclerosis, and diabetes. All of these increase the aging of your brain.
Also, being a woman and having gone through menopause can put you at risk. This is because your body has stopped producing estrogen, a hormone that increases brain health.
Let’s take a look at some great exercises to train your brain and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Exercises for training your brain
Your mind is like a muscle, and like any muscle, it needs to be exercised. If you don’t do this often, it’ll atrophy. Here are some habits that you can add to your daily routine to help increase your cerebral capacity:
1. Bathe with your eyes closed
Try to take a bath once a week with your eyes closed. Find where the faucet, soap, and shampoo are. Don’t even peek. This way, you will develop your other senses, like your sense of touch. This will make your brain work more than usual.
See also: We Could be Getting Closer to Creating an Alzheimer’s Vaccine
2. Use your non-dominant hand
Ifyou’re right-handed, use your left hand, or vice-versa, to do common tasks. This could be brushing your teeth or hair, writing, opening cabinets, using the mouse, cutting food, grabbing a glass, etc.
3. Change where you put things
Your brain becomes used to having certain objects in certain places. It knows, for example, that your underwear is in the top of your dresser, or that you keep milk in the fridge. By doing this, we become a little “lazy” and do everything from memory.
Challenge yourself to put things in new places. What if you put your underwear in a new drawer? You can change the furniture layout in your house. You could even change where your desk is in your office.
4. Take a different route every day
The same thing that happens with things in your house happens with the routes you take to get to your job, school, the gym, the supermarket, etc. If you usually use the same mode of transportation, change it. If you go by car or by bike, take a different route. Our brains need to be surprised from time to time.
Also, by doing this you keep life from getting boring and routine.
5. Memorize phone numbers and dates
We don’t use our brains to store certain information as much as we used to thanks to smartphones and computers. Because of this, it’s common for us to not know the number of our partner or parents. We may not even know our own phone number!
Try not to use these devices or even paper for support. Remember important dates without having them written anywhere.
The same thing happens with GPS maps and calculators. These things, which seem to make life easier, have made our brains very lazy. For instance, we don’t know how to get to our best friend’s house or even what 2 x 5 is. Think about the route you’ll take before you leave the house. And, do these calculations in your head!
See also: The MIND Diet: Eating to Lower the Risk of Alzheimer’s
6. Read more
Books help us to encourage our imagination and strengthen our brain. When you read, your brain makes an effort to “think” about what is happening. It has to connect information and dates that the author leaves flowing from the pages.
Don’t read things just because you have to, such as for school and work. Try to find novels or science fiction you like. Another idea is to read out loud to stimulate your hearing.
Other exercises to prevent Alzheimer’s disease
Besides the previous exercises, there are many other activities you can put into practice. These exercise your brain and can prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s:
- Walk backward without turning your head.
- Do word searches, sudoku, and riddles.
- Wear your watch on your other wrist.
- Get dressed with your eyes closed.
- Read magazines upside down.
- Exercise regularly.
- Be curious, look up interesting information about anything.
- Be positive.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Sleep between 7 and 8 hours per night.
- Learn new words, use synonyms and antonyms to say the same thing.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Asociación Americana de Alzheimer. (2018). ¿Qué es la Enfermedad de Alzheimer? | Portal Español de la Alzheimer’s Association. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511614941
- Lopera, F. (2012). La enfermedad de Alzheimer familiar. Revista Neuropsicología, Neuropsiquiatría y Neurociencias. https://doi.org/10.1016/0167-2681(93)90083-2
- Gatz, Margaret. Educating the Brain to Avoid Dementia: Can Mental Exercise prevent Alzheimer Disease? https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020007&type=printable
- WebMD. Brain Exercises and Dementia. https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/guide/preventing-dementia-brain-exercises#1
- Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundations. Pillar 3: Exercise & Brain Aerobics. http://alzheimersprevention.org/4-pillars-of-prevention/exercise-and-brain-aerobics/