Not the kind for the Army – but boot camp for the brain. It’s a healthy-living program designed by Gary Small, a psychiatrist at UCLA, and author of The Memory Prescription. His program involves 4 things – a special diet, daily physical activity, stress release, and memory exercises.
Studies have shown that mentally stimulating lives can postpone memory problems. But diets high in saturated fat, plus a lifestyle filled with stress, little physical activity, and few mental challenges have been linked to a higher risk of dementia. But those who follow Dr. Small’s ‘boot camp’ for the brain program, end up with more efficient brain cells, are much less forgetful, and have lower blood pressure. And there’s new evidence that keeping blood pressure down might delay the onset of Alzheimer’s for several years. So, here’s what ‘boot camp’ for the brain is:
- The doctor recommends a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is found in nuts and fish and lots of antioxidants, like blueberries and prunes.
- The program also includes stress release sessions and physical exercise, which includes brief moments of stretching, walking and yoga, several times a day.
- And then there’s the memory aerobics that help keep your brain nimble. About 15 minutes a day of puzzles and brain teasers, like remembering the name “Weinberger” by visualizing a bottle of wine falling onto a burger.