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AARP Montana hosts 'Senior Day' at the Montana State Fair

AARP Montana is gearing up to welcome tens of thousands of visitors to Senior Day at the Montana State Fair on August 2. Montana’s 50+ population will be recognized with $2 fair admittance and special programs all day. August, 2010 will also mark the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act—the landmark legislation that created Social Security. Join AARP Montana at the State Fair to celebrate this important milestone.

With a few easy changes, people can stay their sharpest as they age—AARP trainers will show participants how. Fairgoers are invited to join AARP Montana under the Funsville Tent to learn tips, tricks and techniques to boost their brain power. Fairgoers will also learn about AARP’s Staying Sharp program and will have the opportunity to take part in exercises and games to win prizes while learning how to keep their "brain in the game".

Also starting on July 31 through August 2, AARP will be at the fair with the AARP/Walgreens Wellness Tour. The AARP/Walgreens Wellness Tour will deliver free health screenings and health education.

The free screenings—which include total cholesterol levels, blood pressure, bone density, glucose levels, waist circumference and body mass index—will help provide adults with a critical foundation for early disease detection and prevention. No appointment is necessary. Screenings are recommended for adults age 18 and older.

Results are instantly provided and consumers are encouraged to visit a doctor or health care provider to discuss them. Visitors will also have access to free educational information on a variety of health and wellness issues. In addition, free, one-year AARP memberships will be given to all adults who receive screenings. Participants under the age of 50 can pass on the free membership to an eligible adult, and existing members will receive a one-year extension on their current membership status. Together the free health screenings and AARP membership and are worth over $140. Over the next two years the Tour has a goal of delivering more than 2.5 million free health screenings, with a combined total value of over $60 million.

Plan to join us at the Montana State Fair to learn how you can maximize the health of your body and brain. Living an active life—resisting the siren call of the couch and the remote control—is the best bet for staying active and sharp. Puzzles like the ones offered on are one way to keep those synapses firing properly.

Participants will learn specific pointers for keeping their brains sharp, including these ten brain-boosting activities:

1. Walk and talk. Find a walking partner, study a topic, and discuss it on your walks. You'll get mental stimulation, physical exercise, and social connection-the key brain strengtheners.

2. Vary your routine. Try a different grocer. Join a new club. Novelty stimulates new neural connections.

3. Get smart. Be a lifelong learner. Look into community education classes or programs offered at your local library or college.

4. Play. Pick games with several levels of difficulty, to master one by one. For quicker thinking, try to beat the clock.

5. De-stress. Meditation, yoga, a walk in the woods: focus your mind and relax. This may build clearer memories.

6. Sleep. Your brain is active when you are asleep—it is consolidating memories from your day. Skip the late show and give your brain time to work.

7. Imagine. Include creativity in your day. Paint, write a diary or novel, visit new websites, or build your own.

8. Party. Socialize and make new friends. Don't be a loner—it can lull your brain into slowdown mode.

9. Eat right. A diet rich in fruits and veggies, whole grains, and fish will help keep oxygen flowing to the brain.

10. Watch your numbers. Work with your doctor to keep blood pressure, weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol in check.

Most important, shun gimmicks. No product can build extra brainpower instantly or effortlessly. But with challenging new habits, you can make your mind steadily sharper and stronger—now and for the rest of your life.

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