LC Arisman, Certified Health Navigator & Personal Trainer
You may notice more purple around this month. That’s because June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Dementia is not a specific disease but rather a broad description of symptoms that affect memory, cognition, and social abilities to a degree that interferes with daily life. MS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s are brain diseases that fall under the umbrella of “dementia” and are progressive, debilitating diseases that currently have no cure.
While each disease is different in terms of which proteins are involved, which body functions are affected (memory or movement), and genetic components, there are lifestyle remedies and practices that can improve symptoms and quality of life for all. For those already dealing with brain disease, nutrition is a key component and comes with its own challenges. Difficulty with chewing, swallowing, or other mechanics of feeding can lead to malnutrition. Multiple micro-meals can help achieve adequate nutrition, as can removing distractions and choosing foods that are easier to eat. There are also specialty utensils designed for people with limited fine motor skills.
For those looking to support brain health, the following are a few lifestyle approaches that have been shown to help, according to the Cleveland Clinic:
- Exercising at least 3–5 times a week
- Stimulating the mind through games or puzzles
- Following the Mediterranean diet
- Getting at least six hours of sleep a night
- Socializing regularly and connecting with family and friends
This month, we will be featuring the Cleveland Clinic’s Six Pillars of Brain Health here at the club. Keep an eye out in the lobby for brain healthy snacks, flyers on lifestyle practices, board games, and Sudoku and crossword puzzles you can fill out while riding the stationary bike or relaxing with a cup of tea.
Join us for the Puzzling Hour on Monday, June 17, 3:45–4:45! Keep those brains fresh!
Weight Watchers® Beyond the Scale program delivers our most holistic and personal approach ever. Move beyond the number on the scale, so you can get healthier, live happier, and lose weight: All available right here at Parkpoint! No need to find a location…we have a weekly meeting right here on-site at Parkpoint Sonoma. Come check it out Thursdays at 7am on the second floor.