Summer time is a good time to get out and enjoy the sun and good weather. It is also a good time to find ways to be happy, healthy and socialized. In addition to keeping our bodies in good repair, there is evidence that the following activities can also help keep our brains healthy. The Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter can help you achieve success in each of these areas! Read below and get involved!
Physical use of the muscles promotes blood flow, range of motion and puts us in a good mood. It also helps us continue to do the things we enjoy and it allows us to stay independent. Regular exercise has been found to reduce the risk of developing diseases such as high blood pressure, balance problems, or difficulty walking. It has been an effective treatment for other diseases such as arthritis, heart disease and diabetes. Before beginning any exercise program, check with your doctor.
One can be physically active in so many ways. Exercise can be done in short spurts of time throughout the day or it can be done at specific times of the day. Exercise can even be done whenever the opportunity arises. There are many opportunities each day for exercise, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking instead of driving a short distance, gardening, walking a pet, or taking a walk with a friend. The good thing is all the health benefits from an investment of little time and little cost.
- Be active every day
- Enjoy doing your physical activity
- Get into a routine of doing physical activity
Exercise with us at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. There are five Walk to End Alzheimer’s events in the Miami Valley. Below are dates and locations for each. You can register at alz.org/walk.
Troy 9/10 Troy Courthouse Square
Springfield 9/17 Wittenberg University
Sidney 9/24 Sidney Courthouse Square
Greenville 10/1 Greenville City Park
Dayton 10/8 Dayton Fifth Third Field
Education is exercise for the mind as it creates new brain cell connections. Not only your body, but your mind needs to be exercised. Learn new things. While it may not seem important at first, each time you play Sudoku, a cross word puzzle, a jig saw puzzle, a game of cards, or Yahtzee, you are building brain cell connections. Read a book about something that interests you. You can also challenge your brain and read about something you know nothing about. It may surprise you to find out, after learning the new information that it is now a new interest for you. There are all sorts of possibilities. One idea might be to put out a bird feeder or plant some flowers that are a new variety. Look up the names of the birds or flowers. You might also enjoy sampling a new food dish at your favorite restaurant.
- Do something each day that uses your brain
- Do new things
- Be open to new possibilities
Educate yourself at our Dementia Q&A program. From facts about Alzheimer’s disease, questions on caring for yourself or a loved one, your next steps, and everything in between, you can get your questions answered at the Chapter Office.
Having fun is good for you and laughter releases endorphins – endorphins are those feel-good chemicals in your brain. What makes you laugh? Laughter truly does make us feel better! For some people funny movies, a funny story, or a child can make us laugh out loud. Find something that makes you happy. Every day we should do at least one thing that we enjoy. Pleasant events are all around us. When we are sad or feeling down it can be difficult to pursue pleasurable activities. When you do things for yourself, it is not being selfish; it is taking care of “you”. Don’t be afraid to jump in and have fun.
- Find an activity that makes you laugh out loud
- Do pleasant events every day
- Take charge of your own enjoyment
Enjoy yourself on June 20, The Longest Day. The Longest Day is a team event to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association®. Held annually on the summer solstice, the duration of this sunrise-to-sunset event symbolizes the challenging journey of those living with the disease and their caregivers. There are a variety of local businesses and organizations that are going purple for The Longest Day.
Staying socially engaged is critical for our well-being. Look for ways to have conversations with others. Caregiving can be isolating; it is important to always pursue engagement with others. Get out, walk around the block, meet the neighbors and talk to them. Your neighbors may feel just as isolated as you! There are times when it is not possible to get out, but there are still many ways to socialize. Talk on the phone, communicate via your computer or iPad. . . find a way. Enjoy your friends. If there is someone you haven’t heard from for a while, call or email them. They will probably appreciate that you made the first move to reconnect.
- Talk to people you enjoy
- Reconnect with old friends
- Talk with someone each day
Engage with others through our early-stage programming this summer. Programs are offered to those with a memory loss diagnosis as well as their caregivers. Programming includes free monthly movies, education and activity.
All summer and all year, we are here for you. Connect with us 1.800.272.3900 or alz.org/dayton.