A letter from a dementia doctor's family after dementia (Part 3)
Continued from Part 2
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6. Don't underestimate the power of housework: Doing household chores may seem mundane, but it actually requires a lot of brainpower. From planning the order of tasks to organizing the space, doing housework engages the frontal lobe of the brain's motor area. Even activities like stretching to dry quilts or using lower body muscles to vacuum can provide valuable stimulation. Plus, the sense of accomplishment that comes with tidying up can bring pleasure to the brain.
7. Stay hydrated: The brain is made up of 80% water, so any lack of hydration can hinder thinking. Clinical neuroscientist and psychiatrist Amon once scanned the brain images of a well-known bodybuilder who looked like a drug addict, but later discovered that he had lost a lot of water to look thinner before the photo was taken. After hydration, the brain images looked much more normal. So make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your brain functioning at its best.
8. Smile and greet others: Interpersonal interaction and reducing the risk of depression are just some of the benefits of greeting others with a smile. It also helps you remember the other person's name and appearance characteristics, improving your brainpower.
9. Try something new each week: Stimulate short-term memory and build the brain's ability to interpret information by trying something unfamiliar. Take a different route home each day or change the time you take the bus. These small changes can make a big difference in keeping your brain active and engaged.
10. Go for a walk: Aerobic exercise, especially walking, is great for improving brain function. The coordination of limbs required for walking can activate the cerebellum, promote thinking, and improve the speed of cognition and information processing. Walking for 50 minutes three times a week can help you think more quickly.
11. Practice deep breathing: When you're anxious, it can be hard to focus or think clearly. The person in charge of the American Clear Brain website provides a meditation method: close your eyes, press your thumb on your little finger, imagine the beautiful feeling after exercise, and then take a deep breath for 30 seconds. Then press the ring finger with the thumb and imagine anything you like for 30 seconds, then press the middle finger to recall a loving moment for 30 seconds, and finally press the index finger to recall a beautiful place for 30 seconds.
12. Limit TV time: Watching TV doesn't require much brainpower, so it's best to limit your viewing time. Researchers in Australia found that people with better memory watched less than one hour of TV a day.
13. Eat foods high in folic acid and vitamin B12: These two vitamins help control homocysteine in the blood, which can damage the brain. A Swiss study found that people over the age of 60 with low intakes of these two vitamins were four times more likely to develop dementia than those with moderate intakes.
14. Enjoy spicy foods: Eating foods like curry that contain "curcumin" can help prevent dementia. Curcumin is a high-efficiency antioxidant that can inhibit oxidative damage to cells and prevent the disappearance of brain cell synapses.
15. Floss and brush regularly: Studies have found a link between gingivitis, periodontal disease, and cognitive dysfunction later in life. So make sure to floss every day and brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes each time to keep your mouth and brain healthy.