In our previous post we discussed Dairy & Dementia and how eating unhealthy food can increase the risk of dementia such as Alzheimer’s and other diseases.
Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s yet nor other forms of dementia, our daily lifestyle plays a huge factor when it comes to dementia prevention. Studies show that healthy living has a very positive impact on our brain, in fact dementia is inextricably linked to lifestyle.
We can therefore reduce the risk of developing dementia by improving our lifestyle choices and taking care of our body and mind.
How can we reduce the risk of developing dementia?
As part of a healthy lifestyle, it is advisory to abstain from smoking and drinking alcohol; or where possible, keep below the recommended NHS alcohol levels.
It is advised that we remain physically active as much as we can and even when we get older, to continue exercising.
It is vital to keep our brains active, by reading, writing, playing mind games and doing lots of puzzles and crosswords. Listening to music and singing also reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies show that learning a new language prevents or delays dementia. “monolingual patients were diagnosed on average at age 75.4 years and bilinguals at age 78.6 years.” Say Dr Ellen Bialystok, of York University in Toronto, Canada, and two colleagues examined hospital records of patients diagnosed with a variety of different types of dementia.
“Keeping our brains active by switching between different languages could help to resist some of the damage caused by dementia, delaying the onset of symptoms.” Said Dr Marie Janson, from Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Try to be as much social as you can, “There is emerging evidence that keeping socially engaged and having a supportive social network may reduce your dementia risk. It will also make you less prone to depression and more resilient. Try to visit family and friends.” According to the Alzheimer’s society
Yoga & meditation practice can also prevent Alzheimer’s and other medical related problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
Reducing stress and where possible triggers for depression, is advisable in dementia prevention. “A recent study showed that people who had mild cognitive impairment and reported high levels of anxiety were 135% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.”
Changing your sleeping habits is crucial as this can also lower the risk of developing dementia. In our post “Sleeping Problems & Dementia” we explain how maintaining a good night’s sleep and sleeping more during the night helps to reduce the risk of dementia and many other diseases.
“Lifestyle is responsible for up to 76% of changes in the ageing of the brain, according to Age UK.”
It is said that it’s never too late to make a change and start living a healthier life. If we take care of our body and mind we will live a happier and perhaps longer life.