What Can You Do to Lower Your Risk for Dementia Today?
While the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is still undetermined, experts believe that there are lifestyle changes you can make to help lower your risk.
10 Steps for Healthy Aging
1. Eat a balanced diet, low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables. In general, foods that are heart healthy are also brain healthy. Taking daily vitamins can also help fill in any gaps in nutrition that you may be missing.
2. Stay active on a regular basis. Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain and can also help improve mood and overall well-being. Try a brisk walk at lunch or light weight training to build strength and flexibility.
3. Challenge your brain by learning new things. Taking up a new language, trying a cooking class, or simply doing something you haven’t done before will force your brain to work harder outside of it’s normal routine.
4. Sleep at least 7-9 hours a night. Not getting enough sleep can affect your physical well-being and negatively impact memory and critical thinking.
5. Take medications as your doctor prescribes.
6.Stop (or don’t start) smoking and limit alcohol intake. Smoking can increase the risk of other serious illnesses and too much alcohol can impair judgement and increase the likeliness of accidents.
7. Stay socially active. Maintaining an active social life is very important for brain health, cognitive stimulation and mood.
8. Know your blood pressure. Blood pressure can impact your cognitive function so it’s important to understand yours to help lower your risk of cognitive disorders.
9. Maintain checkups with your doctor. Health screenings are key to managing chronic illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, all of which can impact your brain health.
10. Get a memory screening. Our brains need checkup just like the rest of our body! A memory screening is a quick, easy, non-invasive exam for our brains. Talk to your doctor about adding this screening as part of your annual wellness exam.
Now you know! Keep these steps in mind as you go throughout your day and try to squeeze them in whenever you can. Your heart, body, and mind will thank you.