April 2018

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Healthy Brains

Since the American Association of Retired Persons keeps pointing out my advancing age, I'm thinking about my health (and yours) more than I used to.

In cleaning off our computer table (a significant challenge, as Ann restricts my talent for making piles to this table), I ran across these notes from a Brain Tumor Support Group seven months ago. Dr. Nancy Isenberg, a neurologist titled her lecture "Healthy Aging with Cancer," though her tips apply to anyone who is aging (and if you aren't aging, you're dead. So you might as well admit it: you're aging.)

"What good for the heart is good for the brain." I'm not sure that the poet Kabir who scribed these words was writing about exercise, but Dr. Isenburg was.

"How much exercise?" you may whine. I know you've heard this before, this part about exercising, but there's stuff here that you haven't heard.

Walk at least 3 times a week for at least 45 minutes. (You reduce the risk of Alzheimers by half if you exercise 30 minutes a day.) The biggest benefit of exercise is metacognition.

Juggle. Juggling changes the patterns of activity in the brain.

Dance to music.

Eat well, too. Yes, you've heard that before, too. Here's more:

Take vitamin D. Low Vitamin D is associated with dementia. (And, my note, we all know that there's Vitamin D in the sunshine, so if you live in a gloomy place like Seattle, you should go to Mexico or Hawaii at least once  a year. I'm pretty sure your health insurance will foot the bill.)

Eat fish for Omega 3s. This is the advantage to living in a gloomy place like Seattle. You have great salmon. (Omega 3 is also good for high cholesterol and ADHD.)

The Mediterranean must be a good place to live because its sunny and the Mediterranean diet is good for your hypocampus: Olive oil, red wine, fish, fruits and veggies, and walnuts. Especially walnuts on an ice cream sundae. (I'm pretty sure your health insurance will pay for you to relocate to the Mediterranean, too.)

Coconut oil, peanut oil and avacadoes are good. Kelp, too. Throw 'em all in a pan and stir 'em around. (They're a great addition to walnuts on your ice-cream sundae.)

Bob, whom I liked a lot, was going on hospice care at the time of this lecture. In my notes beside his name, I have written his motto: "It's not the size of the dog in the fight. It's the size of the fight in the dog."

Alpo was never mentioned.

1 comment:

  1. I am suspicious of the vitamin D thing being a fad. Many of my specialists have made sure I take a ton of it. I think I take 10,000 units a day. I dont feel a difference, but some people do.

    And yes, lets all move to the Mediterranean. When I was in Greece I went to one island, and loved it. LOVED it. Lets go!


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