Dementia Prevention Is Easy to Do Once You Get Started
For many of us, the thought of developing dementia as we age, or worse, contracting Alzheimer’s disease, is one of the most frightening aspects of growing older. More of our aging population is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s every year, and the cure may be several years, if not decades in the future.
Researchers have identified several things that people can do, however, even in their senior years, to prevent or to stave off the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Many of these will seem, especially at first glance, like common sense or the same panacea that doctors and researchers prescribe or recommend for just about any health condition that impacts a person’s quality of life. But that’s not necessarily the case.
While it may be true that getting enough exercise and eating a healthy diet are good for just about anything, there are some exercises and techniques that you can implement now, specific to dementia, as well as some things to avoid doing in order to keep yourself healthy well into the last chapters of your life.
Diet and Exercise to Combat Dementia
It seems like it should go without saying, and it was just mentioned in the introduction, but getting enough exercise (roughly 150 minutes per week of resistance training and aerobic activity), together with eating well, are two of the best things you can do for your aging body.
A diet rich in essential fatty acids, those available from vegetable sources as well as from fish, can help with brain health. And exercise helps to stimulate the mind as it works the muscles, reducing stress while improving alertness.
Social Components of Fending Off Dementia
Along with improving your diet and getting enough exercise, reducing your stress level while making sure to engage socially with your peers and other groups, can have a demonstrable effect on reducing your risk of contracting Alzheimer’s.
Social isolation and high stress are two of the biggest risk factors for developing dementia. However, if you are an introvert by nature, make sure that you aren’t increasing your stress level by forcing yourself to socialize with people who aren’t comfortable for you. Remember that balance is important as well.
Taking Good Care of Your Brain
Lastly, taking care to maintain the health of your brain by stimulating it on a regular basis and making certain to get enough rest are major components of keeping dementia at bay.
As we age, it naturally gets harder for us to sleep as long as we once did when we were younger. But our bodies and our minds need a certain amount of regular restive sleep in order to repair and maintain good function.
Likewise, a brain that isn’t used or one that isn’t stimulated regularly is also in danger of developing problems. Look for hobbies and activities that require critical thinking, creativity, or analytical skills to keep your mind young.
Three Key Areas for Dealing With Dementia
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s at this time and dementia can strike any of us as we get older. But with adequate mental and physical exercise, a good diet of foods rich in essential fatty acids, engaging conversation with our peers, and enough rest and relaxation, we can all stall the onset of these terrible conditions.