Research shows that dementia affects approximately 50 million people globally. A syndrome resulting from disease in the brain, it involves a decline in memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language and judgement. Tragically, the number of people struggling with dementia today is expected to triple within the next thirty years. With 10 million new cases each year, you or an aging parent may be at risk. As it continues to be a major public health concern, it is important to begin thinking about how you or a loved one can fight dementia today.
Research tells that age, genetics, loneliness, and sedentary lifestyles all play a part in one’s risk of dementia. However, paying greater attention to your health can help lower your risk. Healthier lifestyle choices also contribute to lower risks of heart attacks, a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. By lowering your chances of cardiovascular diseases, you can also help reduce your risk of dementia.
Here are three tips to consider for fighting the affects of dementia:
Staying active has many health benefits, including the prevention and management of over 20 long-term conditions. It reduces stress and improves mental well-being. However, as most of us may not care to spend hours at the gym, don’t feel restricted to running on the treadmill. Instead, engage in activities you enjoy. Keeping active with others, whether walking, dancing, cycling or throwing the ball, is a great way to stay motivated and make physical activity less of a chore. It’s never too early to begin thinking about how you can fight dementia. Click here to learn more.
Keep Up With Your Diet
Alongside an active lifestyle, a mindful diet can really improve overall health. Some research indicates that following the Mediterranean diet, based on whole grains, fish, fruits and vegetables can be good for brain health. In fact, a study published in 2015 that followed people for an average of 4.7 years found that, of 960 individuals, those who stuck most closely to this diet had brains equivalent of 7.5 years younger than those who followed the diet the least. To learn more about these health choices, click here.
Pay Attention to Your Brain
Mental exercise is also a great way to fight the affects of dementia. Keeping the brain active can be just as important as taking care of your body. When the brain is stimulated, it builds reserves of healthy cells and connections between them. Some exercises to consider then include board games, cross word puzzles, and learning a new language. Alternatively, vising a museum or taking an art class can also serve as a social activity.
It is never too late to begin looking closely at your lifestyle choices as shown above. For while research proves that genetics play a large role in one’s risk of developing dementia, it only paints half the picture. In fact, dementia is most likely the consequence of interactions between environmental and lifestyle choices. Taking the time to seriously look at your health can have big impact on your chances of developing dementia while simultaneously improving your quality of life.