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Guest Report - Brain Awareness Week

Brain Awareness Week is a global campaign to raise public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research, including research into the causes of Parkinson's disease and how to treat it. In celebration of Brain Awareness Week, the Door County YMCA is proud to present 5 Steps to a Healthy Brain.

5 Steps to a Healthy Brain:

1. Exercise. 30 minutes of exercise three times a week can actually help slow the progression of Parkinson's Disease, dementia and memory loss, helping maintain balance, mobility and daily living activities.

2. Eat healthy. A balanced diet is the basis of mental health. Healthy eating can help keep your bones strong, which decreases the likelihood of a fracture if you fall, and can also help prevent constipation, iron deficiencies and high blood pressure, all of which affect mental health.

3. Give Your Brain a Workout. A lifestyle that includes stimulating mental activity is directly correlated with healthy brain aging. The brain is a learning machine, built to acquire new skills and seek new experiences. Grab a crossword from the New York Times, give Sudoku a try, or try Mah Jong at the Y!

4. Stay Social. Maintaining social ties has been consistently correlated with healthy brain aging. Walk the track with a friend, enjoy free treats and commerce at a YMCA "Together Tuesday," held every Tuesday from 9:30-10:30 at the Sturgeon Bay Y.

5. Manage Stress. Overproducing stress hormones can damage the brain's memory center. If you find yourself facing chronic stress, try stress-reducing tactics like meditation, tai chi, yoga, relaxation therapy or a gentle indoor walk.

For more information on maintaining mental health, or to learn about mental health related programs like Parkinson Syndrome exercise in collaboration with Ministry Door County Medical center, visit http://www.doorcountyymca.org/ or call 743-4949.

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