Alzheimer’s is a devastating illness that should never be a part of normal aging. Unfortunately, it is now the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the 5th leading cause of death for those aged 65 and older.
Research has shown that beta-amyloid, a destructive protein that is found in high levels in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, begins accumulating years before symptoms ever appear. Unfortunately, once symptoms begin, your chances of improving your brain health lower dramatically, so it is vital to do all we can to keep the disease at bay from middle age onwards.
A good number of studies have indicated that staying intellectually active as well as maintaining strong social connections as we age may lower your risk of Alzheimer’s. Along with that, physical activity also plays a big part. Keeping yourself mentally and physically fit actually decreases the level of beta-amyloid in the brain.
Here are just 26 examples of fun activities you can do to improve your chances of staying free from Alzheimer’s disease:
- Go to concerts and plays
- Take a class that improves your fine motor skills such as drawing or painting
- Plant a garden
- Join a book club and read often
- Volunteer at your local community center or church
- Play word games such as Scrabble, Boggle or Words with Friends
- Take a physically active class like martial arts, ballroom dancing or water aerobics
- Spend time on Google and Wikipedia daily to learn about things you’re interested in
- Get plenty of quality sleep and rest
- Take a creative class such as photography, drama or comedy class
- Play board games with friends and family
- Start a blog and write in it regularly
- Take up knitting or crochet
- Sign up for a yoga or Tai Chi class to practice meditation
- Read the news everyday
- Read the newspaper upside down once in awhile
- Invite a friend over for dinner once a week
- Take a college class on a subject you’ve always been curious about
- Play Sudoku and crossword puzzles
- Learn a musical instrument
- Go to Bingo night
- Write a novel or start working on your autobiography
- Join a writing group
- Keep a jigsaw puzzle going on the coffee table
- Join a choir
- Play video and online games such as Tetris, Candy Crush or Angry Birds
These are just some of many, many things you can do to keep your mind and body active to keep cognitive decline at bay. So pick several different things that interest you and go for it. You will enjoy yourself, make some lasting friendships and lower your risk of Alzheimer’s all at the same time!