Exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking are all things that drastically lower the risk for Alzheimer’s Disease.
-3 twenty minute sessions of vigorous exercise, or 5 thirty minute moderate sessions decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s by almost half.
-Smoking or being overweight increases your risk by about 60% each.
-Other risk factors include diabetes, dementia, and low educational attainment.
Although there are many factors at play, heart health is the suspected link. Increasing blood flow to the heart by exercising, and generally supporting heart health is thought to be one key to preventing Alzheimer’s.
The other common link to all those risk factors is inflammation. Inflammation may be tied to the build up of the brain plague associated with Alzheimer’s (it’s one of the only physical changes we can put our fingers on).
Here are some easy steps you can take to protect your mental health:
-Get in the habit of taking a half hour walk each day. You could even pick a destination 15 minutes away to visit.
-If you have diabetes, make sure you follow all of your doctor’s instructions to manage it.
-Eat a healthy, antioxidant rich diet. If you need a place to start, just make a couple swaps each week.
-Find some mental exercise you like—reading, puzzles, etc. to help keep your brain sharp.
Soon, the number of seniors with dementia will double as the baby boomers hit old age. With resources already starting to stretch thin, encouraging simple prevention with easy steps like taking a half hour walk each day is essential for everyone’s future.
What do you do that will help prevent dementia?