“Nine lifestyle changes can reduce dementia risk,” BBC News reports. A major review by The Lancet has identified nine potentially modifiable risk factors linked to dementia.
The risk factors were:
- low levels of education
- midlife hearing loss
- physical inactivity
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
- type 2 diabetes
- social isolation
One in three cases of dementia could be prevented by tackling risk factors such as education and depression, a large new international review estimates.
Here are some ways to prevent dementia. Ideally, we should start in our forties already, but it’s never too late to start.
- Give Your Brain a Workout Every Day.
Do puzzles, read, learn new skills, play cards, learn a new language. Learn to play a musical instrument, learn to play chess.
2. Take Care of Your Health.
Get a physical checkup. Lose weight. STOP SMOKING. Don’t drink alcohol. Eat healthy food. Your doctor can advise you on these things, too. Associate with health-conscious people. Build muscle to pump up your brain. Cut down on sugar. Enjoy daily cups of tea: Regular consumption of great tea may enhance memory and mental alertness and slow brain aging.
3. Stay Active Physically.
We need regular exercise – 40 minutes a day, six days a week. Walking, riding a bike, dancing, swimming, running. Sit less – move more.
4. Sleep enough.
Enough sleep is essential for a healthy brain.
5. Reduce Stress.
Prayer and other spiritual activities, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises.
6. Balance and Coordination Exercises.
Dancing, yoga, Tai Chi, balance balls.
7. Stay Active Socially.
Don’t be isolated – join a club or a church or volunteer and mix with other people regularly. Get to know your neighbors, go outside. Make a weekly date with friends, reach out over the phone or email.
8. Live a Purposeful Life
Rush University Medical Center revealed a noteworthy connection between a person’s sense of purpose and dementia risk. Participants who reported the highest scores on the life purpose test were 2.4 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to people with the lowest scores. Living a life full of purpose included things like feeling good about past accomplishments and hope for the future.
~ Robin Elliott