What if I said you can protect your memory from deteriorating
without taking drugs, supplements, or changing your diet? Would
you believe me?

I hope so, because it's true.

My own father found out how valuable this discovery was six
years ago when he survived back-to-back open-heart surgeries.
It's very common for open-heart surgery to greatly reduce the
patient's ability to think. But to the great delight of my
whole family, my dad showed absolutely no mental decline!

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And today, six years later, his long-term memory is stunning.
More importantly, his short-term memory is beyond unbelievable.
Mine should be so good at his age. (And my mother at 82 is his
equal here). It's fairly common for people in their 80s to
have excellent long-term memory. However, most have seen a
noticeable decline in their short-term memory.

So what's my parent's secret to maintaining a strong memory?

They have fun! You read that right. They don't take drugs - there's
no need to. They've only recently started taking supplements as a
preventive.

No, my folks are involved in daily activities with many other folks
their age. They spend a lot of time helping organizations and
traveling. They also get daily exercise and are involved in other
intellectual pursuits.

A study conducted several years ago confirmed how important keeping
active is for your brain. In the study, researchers examined 1,772
people age 65 or older in north Manhattan over a seven-year period.

At the outset, all of the participants were determined to have
no signs of dementia. They were categorized according to age,
occupation, ethnic groups, and "leisure activity." Study author
Yaakov Stern, PhD reported that even after controlling for separate
risk factors, those subjects with high leisure activities had a 38%
less risk of developing dementia. And, even more profound, the more
leisure activities you're involved in, the better. There seems to
be a cumulative effect, possibly adding an additional 8% reduction
in risk for each activity you undertake.

What's really exciting is that it doesn't matter whether the
activity is physical, intellectual, or just social. All three
were associated with risk reduction, but the intellectual
activities were associated with the greatest reduction.

In addition to regular exercise and improving your diet, stimulate
your brain by every method possible. Every cell of the body
responds to challenge by adaptive improvements in its function.
The brain is no exception. Offer your brain exercise, both
physical, intellectual, and social. And, most importantly, relax
and have some FUN!

Source: Neurology, December 26, 2001.

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