Like exercise, staying mentally and socially active can have a slew of long-term brain benefits, as well.
Alzheimer’s is the fifth-leading cause of death in Americans over the age of 65. It is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of all cases, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
“Scientists increasingly believe it is wise to read, work puzzles, play games and socialize to help improve memory,” OMRF Aging and Metabolism Research Program Chair Holly Van Remmen said. “It keeps the brain healthy and perhaps delays the onset of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. So grab a good book or head out to a bingo night. It’ll be good for you.”
When it comes to diet, moderation is key. Eating too much can have negative health implications from heart disease to type 2 diabetes and arthritis. But as people age, many find they eat too little.
“Over time, your body requires fewer calories, but it needs just as many nutrients,” Van Remmen said. And, she says, don’t skimp on protein. Adequate protein — 45 grams of protein for women and 55 grams for men — helps your body maintain muscle mass even when your appetite wanes.
None of these tips are rocket science, Miller said. “Everyone has heard them, it’s just that many people don’t do them. Start now, whatever your age, and you’ll be glad you did.”
— Ryan Stewart, for The Oklahoman