Alzheimer’s seems to be more and more prevalent every year and almost all of us know a family that has been affected by the unforgiving disease. The devastation of mental deterioration is frightening and at this time, there is no proven way to prevent it. But there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s, and knowing you have a little control over this debilitating illness with simple lifestyle choices should be a big relief.
There has been some evidence linking heart disease to Alzheimer’s, so keeping your heart healthy is one place to start. A regular routine of exercise, moderating cholesterol and blood pressure are all helpful. Also, a good diet is key. The well-known Mediterranean diet is a good one for the heart as it emphasizes healthy fats; fish high in Omega 3’s, lots of vegetables and whole grains. These foods are good for brain health as well and should be plentiful. If you cannot get all the prescribed vitamins and nutrients from your diet, add supplements to fill in the gaps.
Brain calisthenics are also a good way to keep your brain active and healthy. Such activities include doing crosswords, reading books and magazines, cards and other games, good conversation, and even watching certain kinds of television. Anything that uses your brain, makes you think, calculate, be creative and inventive, works wonders at lowering your risk for Alzheimer’s.
Finally, a robust social life is essential. Any kind of dementia, including Alzheimer’s can be very isolating, and not letting yourself get out of touch, spending time with friends and family, are all healthy ways to stay engaged in the world.
Following these tips will help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and can even help slow the progression of these diseases once you are diagnosed with them. Alzheimer’s need not be the scourge it seems to be for a long life well-lived. Take some control over your life in areas where you have control, and make healthy choices for yourself and those you love.