Fitness for the body…and mind
Did you know, keeping active – physically and socially, can help maximise your brain health? It could even help reduce the risk of deterioration of your brain function and brain health as you age.
Alzheimer’s disease is just one of several diseases that can cause dementia. But, they’re actually not one and the same.
Dementia Australia, describes dementia as “…a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain…Dementia affects thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday tasks…”. Alzheimer’s disease is one of many health issues or diseases that can contribute to dementia.
Top tips to maximise your brain health
While dementia isn’t preventable or curable, you can minimise your risk of developing dementia. This can be achieved by practicing some easily achievable good health habits to maximise your brain health.
Stimulate your mind
Keep your mind active by learning a new skill or taking on a new challenge. It could be something as simple as volunteering in your local community for an event or activity, or stepping up to participate in a new project at work. You could take up a new hobby or sport, for example.
Challenging your mind to think about a new or different concept and learn a new skill can help keep your brain active. Stimulating your mind may even help grow new brain cells!
Maintain a Healthy Balanced Diet
When you eat well and sleep well, you feel energised. It’s also good for your brain health.
Maintaining a healthy balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, healthy fats and oils, and fish can help you stay on top of your game. It also helps to reduce cholesterol, maintain heart health and maintain an optimal weight.
We’re lucky to have access to a wide range of locally sourced vegetables, fruits, meats and fresh seafood in the Port Macquarie-Hastings area. Visit one of our local farmer’s markets to savour the local options and fill your reusable bags with fresh goods.
Let’s get physical
You don’t have to run a marathon to be physically active! Although, there are many options around the Port Macquarie-Hastings area to join a running group, or participate with others in the community for a weekly, free Port Macquarie parkrun if you wanted to get physical at speed.
For something a little more achievable for the majority – simply getting out and about going for a 20-30-minute walk can help maintain general health, for your heart, body and mind. Choose to walk segments of the Port Macquarie Coastal Walk to stimulate your other senses at the same time. The Coastal Walk starts just outside The Westport Club.
Socialising with family and friends can contribute to maximising your brain health. Spending time with others, making strong connections can help with prevention of dementia.
Join a local community club, sporting club, or book club. It will get you out and about, meeting new people and making new connections. Combine your social activity with a physical activity like bowling and maximise the benefits to keep you and your brain active.
Practice Mindfulness or Meditation
Taking time to ‘smell the roses’ is a great way to maximise your brain health. Look at ways to reduce stress and anxiety in your life and learn techniques to help you increase your ‘awareness’ and appreciation of everyday life.
The practice of activities such as mindfulness or meditation can help maintain brain health by helping to manage your wellbeing and stress, enhance relationships, perform well at work, and maintain your overall health. You could event choose a peaceful beach or garden setting to practice your mindfulness.
Port Macquarie’s Dementia-Friendly Garden – Proudly supported by The Westport Club
According to Dementia Australia, the Port Macquarie-Hastings local government area has the third-highest prevalence rate of dementia in NSW. With a high proportion of older persons living in the region, the provision of community services, like the Dementia-Friendly Garden in Port Macquarie – to support those living with dementia, is vitally important.
Opened in 2017, the Port Macquarie Dementia-Friendly Garden at Dementia Australia’s Bridge Street centre, was the first of its kind in regional Australia. The sensory experience with sounds, sights and touch sensations provides positive memory experiences for those suffering from dementia.
As a regular supporter of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW in Port Macquarie, now part of Dementia Australia, The Westport Club was proud to contribute funds for the establishment of this Dementia Australia Community in Action project.
Take a look at Port Macquarie’s Dementia-Friendly Garden (VIDEO)