LIFESTYLE

Actually, no reasons exist why you should not possess a well-functioning brain until very advanced age. People’s fear of ageing is often greater than needs to be. Ageing isn’t synonymous with general decline. This only happens when something is wrong, when some kind of pathological process is going on. Through a healthy lifestyle it is possible to avoid or delay the onset of age-related diseases.

India is one of the countries with a surprisingly low rate of Alzheimer disease, which may have something to do with Indian lifestyle. (© Sukanto Debnath – Wikipedia)

India is one of the countries with a surprisingly low rate of Alzheimer disease, which may have something to do with Indian lifestyle. (© Sukanto Debnath – Wikipedia)

Everyone can make choices about how to age. The more active and involved you are, the higher your life’s satisfaction. Doing things you find meaningful and maintaining control over your life are very important factors in ageing well.

Nowadays, when there’s talk about ageing it’s almost always about problems with regards to the ageing population. It seems like dementia is hanging like the sword of Damocles over everybody’s head who dares to reach an advanced age. But dementia certainly is not an inescapable destiny.

The fact that more and more people are affected by dementia is in the first place because more people reach the ages when the dementia risk is getting higher. But other factors also play a role. Scientific research comes up with ever more evidence that lifestyle is one of the main culprits in the rise of dementia. Apparently, it is the way we live that makes us more susceptible to a decline in cognitive functioning.

In the past, people didn’t have to think about how to keep their brains healthy since that happened automatically. They lived their lives at a more relaxed pace and in a more natural way. Besides, most people didn’t get old enough to run the risk of dementia.

Even though we do reach far more advanced ages now, that doesn’t mean we always have to get health problems and go downhill. I is not so that everybody in the end becomes demented if they just live long enough. Many brains do exist that keep on doing what they are supposed to do until very advanced age.

Your lifestyle has a great deal to say in how healthy your brain is, (© Ken Stone - Masterstrack)

Your lifestyle has a great deal to say in how healthy your brain is, (© Ken Stone – Masterstrack)

This isn’t only owed to the package of genes you received from your parents. The functioning of your brain is especially influenced by your lifestyle. On that score, we really don’t take very good care of our brain nowadays. We have gradually been exercising less and less; we are exposed to ever more stress; and we eat increasingly unnatural.

The brain has an amazing ability to protect itself and to adapt. Although this plasticity isn’t as substantial in old age as during childhood it still exists. But while ageing, we have to stimulate the brain more to use its powers. Anyone who wants to give their brain at least a good chance to get old in a healthy way, has to realise some essential adjustments to their way of living.

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On the beach © styf – Fotolia.com


ALL ABOUT LIFESTYLE

Funny babies girls eating healthy food fruits isolated on whiteFood for thought

You are what you eat. The cells in your body need fuel and building blocks and they will get those from the food that enters your body.

Full grocery cart.Go shopping

A healthy diet starts in the supermarket. Of course, it would be fantastic if you could grow your own food or prepare it from scratch using basic, raw ingredients.

Three Toed Sloth ClimbsRun for dear life

For humans, as for other animals, moving is of vital importance. We have to move to make sure we’ll get food on our plates, to run away from danger, and to produce offspring.

Chemical installation at nightNeat and petite

We do quite a lot of eating and drinking in our lives. In this respect, our body looks just like a chemical factory. We stick all kinds of food stuffs into our mouth.

dog sunbathing on a deck chairThe pressure is on

Stress is a very peculiar concept. Too much of it is extremely damaging to your health, but too little of it isn’t good for you either. You need just enough of it.

clown enfant isolé sur fond blancLaugh it off

De-stressing is about the best thing you can do for your brain-health. It is impossible to prevent stress, but there is a glimmer of hope. Stress is a subjective concept.

Rear view of a couple having sex in bedFive times a week, at least

We are often far too optimistic about the amount of exercise we get. “I cycle to my workplace, I walk my dog three times a day.” It seems a great deal, but is it enough to satisfy our brain?

Vector Superhero CoupleSuper foods

Of course, super foods do not exist. It is not one or a few types of nutrients that bring about healthy reactions in your brain, but long-term habits of healthy eating.

Brain plays videogamesBrain aerobics

One of my first brain research projects involved brain training. I started my research based on the hypothesis that mental training would be the ultimate tool to keep the brain healthy.

Horse Laughing All Day LongBuck yourself up

At least 350 million people worldwide live with depression. It affects their ability to work and to form relationships. It destroys their quality of life.

Dirty dishes over flowing in a kitchen sinkFood and mood

It is so tasty and convenient, but also so bad for your health, that quick snack in the fast food restaurant. You will get a lot of the wrong kinds of fats.

Mixed Colorful Candies Close UpSweet turned sour

Some things are good for your health and bad at the same time. Glucose is such a thing. Without it you simply cannot survive, but too much of it will kill you as well.

Temple of Heaven in Beijing, ChinaBetter than drugs

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. There’s a lot of truth in this old saying we employ in the West. The Chinese have a similar saying. One hundred steps a day keep the doctor away.

French fries in a deep fryer closeupThe fat is in the fire

Cholesterol ended up with a bad name due to its role in heart disease. But it is an essential ingredient of the body. We simply cannot survive without cholesterol.

American cherry pie close up on the table. horizontalOn doctor’s orders

A lack of sleep is devastating to brain health. The hormone melatonin plays an important role in sleeping. Supplements appear to be a welcome aid for people with sleeping problems.

Skydiving photoBinding forces

It seems like a magic charm, the word antioxidants. The moment someone is talking about health and food, immediately the term antioxidants pops up. What exactly are antioxidants?

Oia town on Santorini island, Greece. Aegean seaFood fashion

Many people have a love-hate relationship with food. The things they love, they can’t eat because they are not good for their health.

Funny baby boy in retro hat with vinyl record and gramophoneMusic to the ears

The healing power of music has been known for centuries. But for most of that time, music and music therapy have been seen as a soft addition to serious healthcare.

Old Brazilian man laughingQuality of life

We all hope to get old healthy and happy. Regrettably, this is not granted to everyone. When someone you care about has been diagnosed with dementia you don’t have to stand by powerless.

Traditional chinese soupStick to it

What to do when you suffer some kind of ailment? Acupuncture seems to be a viable option for those looking outside of regular medical treatments.

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