Defeating alzheimer’s


Beverly Wittler

Columnist


Turns out that one way you can beat that terrible disease is by learning new things, words for example. It’s also mentioned to do crossword puzzles, plus get lots of exercise. Well I do the daily puzzle in my AJC (actually they get it from the Los Angeles Times) and when I’m done, I go on-line and check my answers. I also work the crossword puzzle in my favorite magazine, The Week. Could not solve it last week, missing just a couple of words so went on the internet the next day and found the answer to their clue … what Chef Boyardee wears. Turns out it’s a toque, which per my dictionary is a hat that doesn’t have a brim. Looked at my spaghetti and meatballs canned selection when I was trying to solve it on my own and couldn’t come up with that new word. Okay, saved my brain again.

Neat that some words we know are from another language, metabolism is the Greek word for change. Gymnasium is also a Greek word that means exercising in the nude! One more favorite is auditorium which is a Latin word for ‘to hear.’ Sure didn’t know I could speak anything besides English!

Another way to ward off the brain damage is to exercise. Already doing that and actually keep adding a few more reps, upping my miles, trying to keep my health under control and hoping to lose another pound or two. My pedometer keeps freezing up so tried to order another one via the internet, but Barnes and Noble said my favorite mile counter was on backorder. Had bought a couple of others over the years but couldn’t figure out how to set them, and neither could my tech-smart grandkids! Hope my Gaiam mile reader is soon back in store and put it on my wish list.

Staying social is a good method to keep the brain younger too. That includes family, church and if it’s possible, do some volunteering, reach out to others. Kind of hard for me to fit any volunteering into my schedule but will increase my weekly letter writing by finding another solider on Any Solider that needs to get some weekly mail. I usually get a notice from my current hero that he or she is coming back to the United States. I once was writing to a female Marine and she wrote to me to just say thanks, but also let me know that she was a mechanic and she met her husband as they worked beside each other. One of my pen pals was injured in the line of duty but his wife gave me his Walter Reed hospital address so he could keep hearing from his other mama. I actually wrote to the relative of one of my church members for a while and then he surprised me by showing up at one of our covered dish gatherings. Wow!

Of course taking part in church is good for the mind as you get to interact with friendly faces, hear some uplifting music, and sometimes even learn something totally new from the best of all books, the Bible. Neat that a favorite weekly outing can be good for our brains!

And, don’t smoke or drink alcohol either. Had no idea those sins could also affect future intelligence! Interesting what we can learn on the internet. Already practice some calming yoga plus deep breathing exercises and find they can help our brain too. Of course I read my Bible every morning, plus the Upper Room and my Dr. Charles Stanley morning devotional too. Free medical assistance via our heavenly Father. Thank you Jesus!

Beverly Wittler has four children, eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. She lives in McDonough with her husband.