There are many factors that might contribute to dementia, with some of the most prominent being age, genetics and lifestyle. However, there are strategies you can take before it becomes a concern for you or your loved ones to decrease your risk of developing this disease.
The following blog post will be looking at ways to lower your risks of developing dementia by focusing on prevention strategies, dietary changes and lifestyle.
Dementia is not a normal part of aging, but it’s not inevitable either. The condition is caused by diseases that affect the brain and memory.
Protect yourself and your loved ones by following the 10 strategies below:
Strategy 1: Live a healthy lifestyle and engage in physical activities, like exercise or gardening.
Aim to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week.
Physical activity helps to keep your brain fit and improves blood flow, which can help with mental agility. It also has the added benefit of reducing stress levels-which we know to be an important risk factor for dementia.
Numerous studies have shown that staying physically active through regular exercise can help improve cognitive function.
Strategy 2: Eat nutritious food for your brain.
Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish rich in omega-three fatty acids (salmon), nuts, seeds and olive oil.
Try to avoid junk food and highly processed foods, which can increase inflammation in the body. Be reasonable about your portions and limit yourself to one serving of red meat a week.
A healthy diet can help reduce vascular risk factors for dementia, such as high blood pressure or cholesterol. Be sure not to skip breakfast!
Strategy 3: Quit smoking. Using tobacco increases the risk of developing dementia.
Smoking can have an impact on your cognitive function, and recent studies show that it accelerates Alzheimer’s disease progression by four years on average.
Quitting smoking is not easy to do but worth the effort for long-term benefits in brain health. It also improves lung health!
If you have tried to quit before and failed, remember that you are not alone. Malaysia MQUIT centers has a great website with resources for quitting smoking
Strategy 4: Reframe your thoughts. Only you can control the thoughts that enter your mind.
Many people do not realize they have a choice about what to think and this leads to negative thinking which can lead to depression, anxiety disorders or other mental health issues.
It is important to give yourself permission in order for you to be able to understand how it feels when you are feeling good and happy. Learn from hardships and not let them define you.
Strategy 5: Monitor your behavior and modify it as needed.
Many people get in the habit of ignoring changes in their behaviors that may be warning signs for an underlying illness such as dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.
Changes can include declines in cognitive functioning, declining physical abilities, or health issues like depression, anxiety and stress.
Monitoring your behavior and modifying it as needed can help you identify if the change is due to a health issue that needs treatment.
Some changes in our behaviors or moods are normal, but others might be an indication of something more serious like dementia. Become aware of these warning signs so they don’t go unnoticed.
Strategy 6: Stay connected with your family and friends.
This is a fantastic strategy to keep dementia at bay! This means that you should make an active effort in staying connected with old friends, relatives and loved ones.
Talking on the phone or attending events where members of your social group are present will help keep those connections strong while also providing some release to your day-to-day stress.
Ask for help from family members and friends when necessary. Find someone to talk about the hard times that you are going through.
There is no better way of avoiding dementia than by remaining socially active!
Strategy 7: Limit alcohol consumption.
Drinking alcohol in moderation will help you lower your risk of dementia.
This is because the protective benefits are strong when consumed at low levels such as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Alcohol consumption shouldn’t be more than that to keep any potential risks under control.
A good way to limit alcohol is by putting a cap on the number of days per week that you drink.
Strategy 8: Challenge your brain.
One of the best ways to keep your brain strong is by challenging it.
There are many different types of things that you can do to challenge your brain and one example includes playing games like chess or Sudoku, which will get your neurons firing!
A good way for adults to get their brains working on a daily basis is by remembering things to do and then checking them off their list.
Or try learning a new word every day or reading something that’s out of your usual genre, these are all good ways to challenge your brain!
Strategy 9: Check your hearing when something is not right.
Many researchers are discovering more proof about the connection between hearing loss and dementia.
If you notice that something sounds odd, it could be a sign of early hearing loss and the best way to find out is by scheduling an appointment with your audiologist for testing!
The first step in detecting possible hearing loss is noticing if there’s distortion or muffling of sound, ringing in ears (tinnitus), difficulty to hear in noisy environments or a feeling of fullness in the ear.
Strategy 10: Reduce your time to sit.
Prolonged sitting is not good for your mental and physical health even if you exercise regularly.
If you have no other decision, try to take more breaks during the day. Reduce your time in sedentary activities like watching TV or sitting at a desk for long periods.
Also, keep moving by doing exercises that require less energy than jogging such as walking upstairs or warming up.
Scientists say that long periods of sitting can decrease blood flow to the legs and lead to conditions like varicose veins, which is a condition where there’s enlarged or twisted vein with thin walls in either leg or both legs; it could be serious because this condition increases the risk of heart disease (stroke).
The older you get, the more likely it is that dementia will set in and take away your ability to enjoy life. You can lower your risk of developing dementia by staying mentally sharp with a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude.
If you’re worried about how well you remember things or if aging has started taking its toll on your body, don’t be afraid to ask for help from professionals who specialize in geriatric care.
How’s your mental health? Let me know in the comments below!