Do You Know Anyone with Dementia?
Most people know someone or have known someone who has dementia. It is so sad when people start to forget who the people are around them, what day it is, what month, even what season. Things can start to get very strange as if the brain doesn’t recognise what certain things are anymore, anyone who has had close contact with someone with severe dementia will know what I mean.
It is a situation we wouldn’t wish on anyone and we certainly wouldn’t want it too happen to ourselves. Do we just sit back and hope or can we do something to prevent this from happening to us.
When you think about it most of us don’t use our minds that much, we don’t exercise them as much as we should. Many of us don’t even give much importance to physical exercise, we don’t even consider that our minds might need exercise too.
Studies have shown that physical exercise can help prevent dementia later on, this is great news and makes total sense as the body is a system. The body is not something made up of separate parts that bear no relation to each other. Exercise does wonders for our mind and body, how can you not feel good after an exercise session, even if you really didn’t feel like it to start with but forced yourself, it is always worth it.
However, we can do more to help prevent the onset on dementia, if we don’t use our minds and exercise our brains then it stands to reason that our abilities may deteriorate. No one can be sure how much a person is using and exercising their mind and maybe this contributes to the way that dementia seems to affect such a wide range of people.
When we are sitting in front of the tv passively watching a program we are not using our minds, when we allow thoughts to drift around flitting from one thing to another we are not using our minds. When we constantly lose our keys it means that we weren’t present when we put them down, we absentmindedly placed them somewhere. That’s the word – absentmindedly – the mind is absent, not present and this is the danger. The mind is like a muscle that needs exercising, if you don’t exercise a muscle it will shrink in size why should the brain be any different. Use it or lose it!
To exercise the mind we must constantly push it towards new adventures, new avenues of learning, simply reading is not necessarily enough, it depends what you are reading and whether is is stretching your mind to work.
Getting older doesn’t mean giving up.
Lifestyle is everything, what do you you eat? How you exercise your body and mind? How do you cope with stress? How do you relax? How much time do you take for yourself? These are all important things we should think about if we are going to be a good all-rounder in old age.
The time to start is now, fitness at 50 and beyond is what we should aim at, fitness of mind, body and spirit.