Spring into Action on National Senior Health & Fitness Day!

If you were looking for a reason to start your day with pep in your step, look no further because today is the 26th annual Senior Health & Fitness Day! Join more than 120,000 older adults at over 1,200 participating locations embracing the benefits of physical activity and celebrating Older Americans Month.

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Photo: Shutterstock

The benefits of exercise are many-fold: it can boost mood and reduce the risk of depression, lower the risk of falls and fall-related injuries, reduce the risk of dementia, and potentially slow the rate of cognitive decline in older adults. The Dana Foundation’s publication, “Successful Aging & Your Brain,” a resource on staying sharp as we age, notes that according to many experts, regular exercise is the single most important thing we can do to improve overall health and prevent disease. Continue reading

Join the Healthy Brain Challenge

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As we gear up for Brain Awareness Week 2019, the global campaign to increase awareness of the progress and benefits of brain science, we challenge you to share how YOU live a brain healthy life. The Healthy Brain Challenge begins March 11, and anyone can participate!

Here’s how it works:

Do you play board games to challenge your mind? Maybe you exercise and participate in social gatherings three times a week. If so, you are already part of the challenge! Post a picture on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook showing ways that you lead a brain healthy life. Tag your post with #healthybrainchallenge during March 11-17, and your photo may get featured on our social media.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram (@danafoundation), Facebook (The Dana Foundation) and Twitter (@dana_fdn), where we will post seven healthy tips (one for each day of Brain Awareness Week) on how you can lead a brain healthy life.

Visit dana.org/baw to look up events in your area and for more information on Brain Awareness Week.

Movies On the Brain

In 2018, more than 1.3 billion movie tickets were reportedly sold in the US and Canada, alone, so I think it’s safe to say, people like watching movies. Why not take advantage of their widespread popularity and plan a movie screening or film festival for Brain Awareness Week!

Already a proven and popular activity among Brain Awareness Week partners, screenings can work in a more formal setting for adults, but also as a classroom activity for kids. To make them truly informational, it’s great to follow the movie with a lecture or panel discussion featuring experts on the move topic, or with a classroom discussion between a teacher and students.

Continue reading

A Healthy Brain Needs a Healthy Body

The heart-brain connection is well established, and studies are finding increasing evidence that cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, and obesity contribute to the risk of cognitive decline.

Stroke and dementia are more likely to occur in people with high blood pressure, for example, according to the National Institutes of Health “Mind Your Risks” campaign, which clearly outlines the risks and steps to manage them.

The good new is, many of the steps can easily be incorporated into your daily routines: Continue reading

It’s Healthy Aging Month!

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Image: Shutterstock

Every September is Healthy Aging Month, and there is no better time than the present to start living a healthier life for your brain. Whether you are 80 or 18, it’s never too late or too early to follow some basic principles.

The Dana Foundation’s Successful Aging & Your Brain booklet discusses what older adults can do to keep their brains sharp as they age. Although it is true that cognitive decline, dementia, and other brain diseases and disorders become more common with age, it is also true that our brain improves in many ways as we grow older. With time, we accumulate more knowledge and apply past lessons in judging present challenges and opportunities—in other words, we become wiser. Our brains also maintain their ability to change in response to experiences, known as plasticity, well into old age.  Continue reading

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