As the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that slowly impairs memory and cognitive function. Although there are risk factors outside of your control, like age and genetics, there are preventative measures that can keep your brain and body healthy and strong. Take a look at Brightwater Senior Living’s top six lifestyle tips that can help keep Alzheimer's at bay.
Studies have shown that those who exercise regularly have a lowered risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Increased exercise keeps your blood flowing and increases the chemical functions that protect the brain. Aim for moderate intensity workouts 150 minutes per week to get the brain-boosting benefits of regular physical activity.
It’s no secret that we as humans enjoy all types of social interaction. Although meaningful connections look different to every person, it’s important to cultivate or maintain relationships that spark your interest. Consider joining a social group with similar interests, volunteering, or maybe set up a weekly get-together with friends and family.
What you choose to eat matters for both your body and brain. Inflammation in the body caused by an unhealthy diet can injure neurons and inhibit communication between brain cells. Try to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, avoid sugar, and cook meals with whole foods as much as possible. If you’re not sure where to start, join a healthy cooking club in your area for a host of wellbeing benefits.
Keeping your brain active is a great way to stay engaged, have fun, and increase mental stimulation at any age. Although puzzles are one of the better-known ways to increase mental stimulation, studies have found that there are many other ways to do so, from baking and gardening to word games or a hearty discussion about current events. Find your next passion or hobby, and know that your body and mind can both benefit.
Those who love a good night’s sleep will be pleased to know that hitting the hay is a great way to prevent Alzheimer's disease. Amyloid proteins accumulate in your brain throughout the day, and while sleeping, our brains do an amazing job of clearing out the excess proteins. Without quality sleep, a buildup of amyloid proteins can occur. This buildup creates plaque in the brain tissue, which can lead to Alzheimer's. Remember not to overlook the importance of sleep. Your body is hard at work while you are getting some shut-eye.
A recent study found that 72 percent of Alzheimer's patients have experienced emotional stress during the two years preceding the diagnosis. Bereavement and financial problems can be a common and understandable source of stress in the elderly. Although certain types of stress can be unavoidable at times, try incorporating healthy coping mechanisms like regular exercise and meditation, which can help reduce stress-induced cortisol and inflammation.
For more great tips on how to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, stay up to date on the Brightwater blog.