4 Ways You May Be Able to Prevent Dementia Before It Starts
Techniques to Stave Off Cognitive Decline as We Age
From the moment you wake up in the morning, it feels like a dense fog fills your head. When you drag yourself out of bed and go to make yourself a plate of eggs and toast, it suddenly seems like a much more complicated task than before. You lose track of time, and the smell of smoke enters your nostrils. Frantically turning the burner off, it occurs to you that you can’t remember the day of the week. According to Time Magazine, 47 million people around the world live with some type of dementia. Typically, as we age, we’re told that all we can do is hope for the best and bide our time until there’s a cure, but recent research by the Alzheimer’s Research Center paints a different picture. A set of simple lifestyle changes may be the key to staving off cognitive decline as we get older. Regular exercise has been shown by the to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 50 percent, according to Help Guide, and it can even slow the onset of already-present cognitive decline. Walk or swim for about 150 minutes each week, along with two to three sessions of moderate resistance training, as well as balance and coordination exercises. Check
out eldergym.com for more info on staying active as you age.
Heart-healthy eating may also protect the brain. Limit your intake of sugar and saturated fats and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Replace butter and margarine with olive or canola oil. Two diets that have been linked to heart health are the DASH diet (dashdiet.org) and the Mediterranean diet. Frequent social engagement may help keep your brain sharp. Make efforts to speak face to face with someone you’re close to as often as you can. Try to make new friends, volunteer, join a club or social group, get to know your neighbors, or connect with people over social media. Mental stimulation may also be important to brain health as we age. Study something new to you, such as a foreign language or a musical instrument. Make reading books and newspapers part of your regular routine. Try doing crossword or sudoku puzzles. It’s not difficult to find an activity you enjoy that will also help keep your brain active.
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