Today nearly 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, that number will more than triple. While studies show that taking up certain hobbies such as bridge, learning a foreign language or doing crossword puzzles, may help decrease your risk for dementia or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, many of us may not have the time to take a Spanish class or schedule a regular bridge game. But, you can stave off memory loss and decrease your risk for develop Alzheimer’s without taking a class – all you have to do is add a few things to your grocery list.
At first glance, crafting and exercise would seem to have little in common. One involves moving your body to improve health and fitness, the other moving your hands to create with paper, needles, paint or yarn.
Yet both activities have important, complementary effects on mood and cognitive function.
I spent part of the holidays in Los Angeles this year, surrounded by a sea of asphalt and traffic sprawling for hundreds of square miles. Shuttling between relatives and friends on the maze of 14-lane freeways, I soon felt spiritually exhausted by the visual din of billboards, power lines, parking lots, storefronts, neon signs and cars blowing past at 80 mph.