Many of us do our best to stay strong and healthy as we enter our golden years, but whether it’s because of lifestyle or family history, many of us might find ourselves at a serious risk of Alzheimer’s or dementia. As much as we’d like to believe that these memory disorders are entirely preventable, the truth is that it’s not that easily said and done. Don’t despair, though! There are four simple strategies that everyone can use to greatly reduce your risk of developing these unfortunate illnesses.
Let’s review them one by one:
Train Your Brain
As you might imagine, preventing dementia starts with training your brain! If you don’t challenge your brain, it gets used to the same recurring tasks and activities and limits your cognitive expansion. It’s important to continuously introduce new opportunities to test your gray matter and keep it sharp for any new challenges or ideas you might face.
Learn a new language or instrument, refine your sudoku solving skills, or play card and board games for a fun brain-challenging activity and stronger cognitive health.
A healthy body is key to maintaining a healthy mind. That’s because every organ in our bodies, including our brains, requires the right nutrients to function properly. Some experts believe that a Mediterrean-style diet, filled with fruits, vegetables, and legumes, and low in saturated fats, sugar, and red meats, can help prevent the risk of developing some memory and thinking problems, or dementia. If you want to increase your chances of avoiding dementia, it’s time to rethink your weekly menu!
New research suggests that physical exercise is just as good for your mind as it is for your body. Even for those at highest risk of developing dementia, exercise helps increase the number of synapse connections which improves vascular health, enables more nutrients to get to your brain, and reduces your likelihood of developing the illness. Take up swimming, Tai Chi, or yoga to get your muscles moving and to keep your brain healthy.
Start Being Social
That’s right! Going out and having fun with your friends won’t just help you make lasting memories, it can also help you stave off dementia. According to the National Institute of Health, even just 10 minutes of social activity per day can force your brain to engage multiple neural networks which lead to better brain health.
Consider joining a bridge club, start a gardening group, or find a travel buddy to keep your emotional recognition and regulation aptitudes sharp.
Although it’s impossible to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s entirely, there are many steps you can adopt that will improve your brain health and increase your chances of maintaining full cognitive abilities. At Tealwood Senior Living, we’re always looking for ways to improve the lives of the individuals in our communities and help make their golden years happy and memorable. For more information on our services, take a look at our website or give us a call at 800-783-7390.