Train your brain with these basic health tips that could help prevent Alzheimer’s.
After age 65, your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease doubles every five years: from 5% at age 65, to 25% at age 80, to 50% at age 85, to 100% after reaching 95. Luckily, as the years pass, there are some things you can do that can decrease your risk of developing this disease, could help with Alzheimer’s prevention, and help to keep your brain healthy into old age.
Here are six health tips that could help you build a more Alzheimer's-resistant brain.
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Physical Exercise is a Good Alzheimer’s Prevention
Getting regular physical exercise is one of the best ways to reduce risk of Alzheimer's disease. Studies show that physically active people have up to 60% less chance of developing Alzheimer's than sedentary people. Even if you're already diagnosed with dementia, aerobic activity, such as taking walks or light cardio workouts, can help slow decline and improve your quality of life by reducing anxiety, increasing self-esteem, and improving sleep.
So if you haven't started yet, now is as good a time as any!
You Could Help Prevent Alzheimer’s with a Better Diet
While you can't prevent dementia, you can reduce your risk of developing it by making healthy lifestyle choices. Your diet is an essential factor to staying healthy, and you can even eat foods that will help boost your memory.
Stick to whole foods and avoid processed ones whenever possible. Dementia patients tend to have low blood flow in their brains, which can lead to plaque buildup. It's believed that eating less sugar and refined carbs and drinking water everyday may help prevent or even reverse these brain changes. Other healthy diet tips such as replacing meat with nuts (like walnuts) may also help slow or prevent dementia by improving blood flow to your brain.
Try to Manage Your Stress, it could Help Prevent Alzheimer’s
It sounds easy, but many of us work ourselves into stress-induced health issues at one point or another. Stress puts your body in a state of high alert, diverting energy from other functions and systems so that you can react quickly to whatever danger is present.
A few moments of acute stress here and there are fine—you can always recover—but chronic stress has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and decreased cognitive performance. Find ways to reduce your stress levels so that you aren't constantly in fight or flight mode: meditate, exercise, add kale to your diet, and take time to relax after long days at work.
Get Better Sleep and it Could Help Prevent Alzheimer’s
Poor sleep has been linked to Alzheimer's and memory loss, so getting plenty of quality shuteye can make a huge difference in how well your brain ages. What's more, studies have shown that people who get less than seven hours of sleep per night are at increased risk of developing dementia.
A good night's rest also prevents inflammation, which is associated with an elevated risk for heart disease and cancer, two conditions linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. So, it may be time to stop counting sheep—and start counting minutes.
Stay Sharp, Training Your Brain is Great for Alzheimer’s Prevention
We often find that people who are losing memory can be helped by simply getting more exercise, eating a balanced diet, and doing activities they enjoy. But there's also evidence that specific brain-training techniques can help keep your mind sharp.
For example, try one of these simple exercises to get your noggin going again:
- Close your eyes and think of as many words as you can that start with A.
- Later, try to recall what you came up with. Did you remember all of them?
- Do it again but use animals instead of letters.
- Repeat with numbers or images.
Your brain will thank you later!
What health tips can you share to help prevent Alzheimer’s? Leave a comment and let us know!
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“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Luke 6:38 (NIV)