Research shows that by taking these easy steps you can help to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. With many of us living longer than ever before, we need to maintain the quality of life that can prevent dementia and make the Golden Years shine.
Many things contribute to Alzheimer’s. Sometimes it’s genes. Sometimes it’s inflammation in the brain, vascular risk factors, and lifestyle. Here’s what you can do to improve your lifestyle to try and prevent Alzheimer’s.
According to the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, regular physical exercise can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 50 percent. It can also slow the progression in people who have who have already started to develop cognitive problems. Exercise works by stimulating the brain’s ability to maintain old connections as well as the ability to make new ones.
Health Tip: Aim for 30 minutes of moderately vigorous aerobic exercise, three to four days per week. Some training will increase your muscle mass as well as help your brain. If you’re over 65 and you add 2-3 weight and resistance sessions to your weekly routine, you may cut your risk of Alzheimer’s in half.
Learn Something New
It may be that by stimulating your brain, you are actually taking steps to prevent Alzheimer’s. In one study, older adults who got 10 sessions of mental training, improved their cognitive functioning in daily activities in the months after the training. They also continued to show long-lasting improvements 10 years later.
Health Tip: Practice memorization by learning things off by heart. Start with something short, like your grandchildren’s birthdays and move on to longer lists. Invest in strategy games, puzzles, and riddles.
It looks like staying active socially may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in later life. We are social creatures and thrive best when we interact with others. Make sure you put in the effort to keep your old friends and make new ones.
Health Tip: Join a club where you can take up something that you enjoy doing, like wood work. It’s never too late to start going to a community college. Get to know your neighbors and make dates with your family members and friends.
Eat a Mediterranean Diet
The diet includes fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, legumes, fish some chicken eggs, and dairy, a little wine and even less red meat. If changing your diet seems too hard, remember that you may be helping yourself even if you follow this diet only partially. The second thing you want to do is to cut down on sugar. Sugary foods and refined carbs such as white flour, white rice, and pasta can lead to dramatic spikes in blood sugar which can inflame your brain. Fruits and vegetables give you antioxidants and vitamins you need.
Health Tip: If you’re looking for supplements, try adding folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin D, magnesium, and fish oil to your diet.
Improving your sleep patterns can help clear out of your brain the toxins associated with Alzheimer’s. Aim for seven to eight hours per night. It seems that deep sleep is necessary for memory formation.
Health Tip: Try to create a bedtime ritual that relaxed you. Take a hot bath, do some light stretches, write in your journal, or dim the lights. By creating a ritual, your brain learns that it’s time to go to sleep. Use deep breathing techniques to quiet your inner chatter.