Do Brain Exercises Help Prevent Dementia?

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While more evidence is needed, there are signs that brain exercises and learning new skills can help prevent dementia.  Recent data, such as the ACTIVE study (with ~2,800 patients aged 65+) show cognitive benefits lasting up to 5 years for seniors engaged in brain exercises, with reports of these gains translating more broadly into their everyday lives.  Other studies have shown that before symptoms appear, seniors can reduce the risk or even prevent dementia by keeping mentally active and learning new skills.  These should be new skills and activities that help you to learn new things– crossword puzzles, sudoku and reading books from your favorite author aren’t necessarily enough.  New forms of exercise, dance, learning musical instruments or a new foreign language can help slow the erosion of brain cells and create new neural connections, which can reduce or prevent dementia.  In addition to the positive health benefits, each of these activities can help you live a more full and rich life.

Read More:  http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/guide/preventing-dementia-brain-exercises

 

Were you aware that learning new skills and keeping your mind active could prevent dementia and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Stand more and sit less to live longer, burn more calories and be healthier – BBC

Woman standing desk

The evidence that standing up is good for you goes back to at least the 1950s when a study was done comparing bus conductors (who stand) with bus drivers (who don’t). This study, published in the Lancet, showed that the bus conductors had around half the risk of developing heart disease of the bus drivers.

Since then prolonged sitting has not only been linked to problems with blood glucose control, but also a sharp reduction in the activity of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase, which breaks down blood fats and makes them available as a fuel to the muscles. This reduction in enzyme activity leads to raised levels of triglycerides and fats in the blood, increasing the risk of heart disease.

The numbers behind the standing vs. sitting comparison tell quite a story:

[Standing instead of sitting] adds up to about 50 calories an hour. If you stand for three hours a day for five days that’s around 750 calories burnt. Over the course of a year it would add up to about 30,000 extra calories, or around 8lb of fat.

“If you want to put that into activity levels… then that would be the equivalent of running about 10 marathons a year. Just by standing up three or four hours in your day at work.”

– Dr. John Buckley, head of the team from the University of Chester in the UK studying the topic

Read More:  http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24532996

 

Pretty amazing, no?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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UK study cites basic steps to live longer

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Britons could live to 120 if they just exercised more, ate healthily and took beneficial drugs such as statins, an influential panel of health experts and scientists has concluded.

Read More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/healthyeating/11218303/Want-to-live-to-120-Heres-how…..html

 

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