How a ‘Keeping the Brain Healthy’ course, made me go to the dentist!
In this blog, I want to share some of what I have been learning about how lifestyle changes can have a positive impact on your brain.
The less fun news is that in the UK, Dementia and Alzheimers are the leading cause of death among women. I’m assuming this is similar to the rest of the western world.
The question that kept me awake was: What can we do to lower our risk?
I know this may be a bit of a depressing subject, but being armed with the right information to help reduce your risk can be very helpful, and I feel is also a duty we have towards ourselves.
For some of us, these small actions might not be a surprise, but for others, these might be big eye-opening! So let’s see how small changes in your daily routines can help you improve overall brain health.
Here are some things I have learned during a course on the subject.
I thought I would put this first because this is the one I love the most 😂.
It has been found that there are cells in the brain that create a waste disposal system for the brain (the glymphatic system). Exercise helps to stimulate this system.
2. Resistance training
Further studies are required on this subject but, given my love of lifting weights, I decided to include it as it is a continuation of the exercise subject. The findings of a small amount of studies suggest an improvement in executive function through resistance training.
My second favourite subject is sleep. Sleep is pivotal for the glymphatic system, which remains active during sleeping hours.
While the science is a little complicated for me, as I understand it, this helps clear toxins linked to Alzheimers.
4. Oral health
So, I made that dentist appointment, and I now need to get a wisdom tooth out. That has nothing to do with brain health; however, a common cause of gum disease (Porphyromonas Gingivitis) may produce plaques of the beta-amyloid protein linked to Alzheimer’s.
Dehydration can cause fatigue and changes in mood at all ages.
However, in older women, it can lead to a decline in the performance of complex tasks. Men are affected as well but at a lower level. So, make sure to get some water into you!
These days we hear time and time again that being in nature is good for your well being. But did you know that in an observational study of a care home they found that exposure to a nature garden improved the mood of residents? Great news for the summer months!
There are many more suggestions for what to look out for with regards to reducing dementia, but I thought six should be enough to get us started, and given that all of these are beneficial to many areas of our health, this can only be good!
I am happy to send you the links to studies if you are interested in reading further. Just let me know which subject you want and then send me a message, and I’ll get back to you..
Author: Lorna Wilson
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