Whilst there is no way to prevent dementia and research continues to find out more about the disease, there are many ways we can reduce our risk of developing dementia as we get older. A healthy lifestyle, diet, and exercise are all contributing factors so it’s a good idea to start implementing better habits early on to reduce your risk.
Caring for your brain and heart
Your brain is fed by blood vessels, if these are deprived of food and oxygen they will underperform and often can be the cause of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy bodies (read more about these here).
Protecting and caring for your brain will often help you care for your heart. Here are some tips:
- Stop smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce excessive amounts of alcohol in your diet
- Keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar within the recommended limits
Sit less, move more
Physical exercise will help to increase blood and oxygen flow to the brain. Incorporating this into your daily routine will help to reduce the risk of developing dementia.
Incorporate 150 minutes of moderate physical exercise every week; anything from walking, cycling, dancing and even some strengthening exercises such as yoga and gardening.
If you tend to sit at a desk for a large part of the day, consider adopting a ‘move more’ plan in your office. Opt to take the stairs instead of a lift, get up and move around often, take a walk at lunchtime and perhaps make phone calls whilst standing and moving around.
Your diet can have the biggest impact on your brain (and your heart). Adopting a healthy eating plan can help to protect the brain from developing dementia. Consider diets which include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and healthy fats such as the Mediterranean diet.
Source *NHS and Alzheimer’s AssociationTags: Alzheimer's, dementia