03 Feb Alzheimer’s and Dementia Prevention: How to Reduce Your Risk and…
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Prevention: How to Reduce Your Risk and Protect Your Brain as You Age
For many years, we’ve been told that there’s little we can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia but hope for the best and wait for a pharmaceutical cure. But the truth is you can reduce your risk by eating right, exercising, staying mentally and socially active, and keeping stress in check. By leading a brain-healthy lifestyle, you may be able to prevent Alzheimer’s symptoms and slow down, or even reverse, the process of deterioration.
Lifestyle choices can protect your brain
Researchers across the world are racing towards a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But as prevalence rates climb, their focus has broadened from treatment to prevention strategies. What they’ve discovered is that it may be possible to prevent or delay the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias through a combination of healthful habits. While Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50 percent of dementia cases, vascular dementia accounts for up to 40 percent in older adults, and there is much you can do to prevent this type of dementia.
It’s never too early to start boosting your brain reserves, but whatever your age, there are steps you can take to keep your brain healthy.
The 6 pillars of a brain-healthy lifestyle
The health of your brain, like the health of your body, depends on many factors.
While some factors, such as your genes, are out of your control, many powerful lifestyle factors are within your sphere of influence.
The six pillars of a brain-healthy lifestyle are:
- Regular exercise
- Healthy diet
- Mental stimulation
- Quality sleep
- Stress management
- An active social life
The more you strengthen each of the six pillars in your daily life, the healthier and hardier your brain will be. When you lead a brain-healthy lifestyle, your brain will stay working stronger…longer.
Alzheimer’s & dementia prevention pillar #1: Regular exercise
According to the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, physical exercise reduces your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 50 percent.
Regular exercise can also slow further deterioration in those who have already started to develop cognitive problems.
If you’ve been inactive for a while, starting an exercise program can be intimidating. But you don’t have to take up jogging or sign up for a gym membership. Look for small ways to add more movement into your day. Park at the far end of the parking lot, take the stairs, carry your own groceries, or walk around the block or pace while talking on your cell phone.
To see full article and tips, visit HelpGuide.org.