Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. While there is no cure yet or an understanding of how Alzheimer’s develops, scientists are working hard to understand its causes and to develop effective treatments. It is becoming clearer to those researching Alzheimer’s that certain lifestyle choices may prevent the disease. Though there is no guarantee of preventing Alzheimer’s, living a healthy lifestyle can potentially lower the risk of developing this disease or, at the very least, delaying its onset. Here is how you can live a healthier lifestyle and help prevent Alzheimer’s.
- Stay Physically Active
Being physically active can help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. It’s good for your heart, circulation, weight, and mental well-being. Physical activity can improve thinking, reduce the risk of depression and anxiety, and help you sleep better. Because physical activity has been linked to improved cognitive function, it can help prevent Alzheimer’s.
- Eat Healthy
Eating a balanced, heart-healthy diet can help decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s. Focusing on a balanced diet will help keep your brain healthy. Including foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, and lower-fat dairy can be beneficial to reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Some research even shows that the Mediterranean Diet is particularly helpful in the prevention of this disease.
- Quit Smoking
Smoking does a lot of harm to the circulation of blood throughout the body, particularly the blood vessels in the brain, heart, and lungs. If you currently smoke, the earlier you stop, the more likely you are to avoid brain damage, which could help prevent Alzheimer’s.
- Drink Less Alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol at one time exposes your brain to high levels of harmful chemicals. If you drink, try to moderate your alcohol intake to no more than 14 units of alcohol a week (the equivalent to 1 beer or 1 small glass of wine per day). Drinking more than this increases your risk of damage to your brain and other organs which in turn increases your risk of Alzheimer’s.
- Stay Mentally Active
Engaging in mental and social activities can build your brain’s ability to cope with disease, relieve stress, and improve your mood. Because of this, these activities may help your brain delay Alzheimer’s or prevent it from developing. Find activities that challenge your brain and do them regularly: such as puzzles, crosswords, brain busters, playing cards, playing chess or checkers, reading books, creative writing, playing an instrument, or keeping a diary.
- Take Control of Your Health
As we age, we’re more likely to develop health conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. According to studies, 80% of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease also have cardiovascular disease. It’s important to get regular check-ups to keep these conditions under control. If we can control these health conditions and stay healthy, it can help prevent Alzheimer’s from developing.
- Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting between 7 and 9 hours of quality sleep a night can be good for your cognitive function. Inadequate sleep might contribute to cognitive decline.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and you need help taking care of them, we provide home care services and caregiving for elderly loved ones specializing in dementia care. Contact us and schedule an appointment for a free home care consultation.