10 habits to develop now for dementia prevention

Lana Bandoim's picture

The number of reported cases of dementia continues to rise and affect the daily lives of the elderly while contributing to early deaths. In addition, dementia can also affect young individuals. Researchers and doctors are still debating whether or not you can prevent dementia, but there have been many promising studies that show there are ways to reduce your risk. The key is to develop the following key habits early.

Advertisement

1. Start early

Dementia is a disease that affects most people in their elderly years, so it makes sense to start in your youth with prevention. Researchers have found that those who have high academic performance in elementary school are less likely to have dementia than those who perform poorly. Research shows that the more active you keep the brain, then the less likely you are to develop dementia. Starting with mental activity at a young age decreases the risk.

2. Exercise regularly

You should not underestimate the power of exercise to improve physical and mental health. Exercise can reduce your risk of depression, limit stress and increase connectivity in the body. This increases the size of the hippocampus which is essential for memory retention. By strengthening it through exercise, you can enhance its ability to retain memories over time.

3. Eat a healthy diet

There have been several foods that have shown positive results in diminishing the risk of dementia, and they include berries, salmon, fruits and vegetables. However, the best rule for food in order to reduce risk is to eat healthy in general. If you are not sure what you need to add and eliminate from your diet to make it healthier, discuss it with your doctor.

4. Engage in mental stimulation

You have to keep your mind active. This is more of a challenge than people imagine because technology can dull the senses through mindless entertainment. Instead, you should spend your time on puzzles, word games, memory training, learning a new language and other activities that require you to think. It may delay the onset of dementia and decrease the effects.

5. Get quality sleep

Advertisement

Too many people do not understand the importance of a good night’s rest. Sleep problems are not just a symptom of dementia but a risk factor as well. The brain needs several hours of quality sleep each night in order to store and form memories. Without quality sleep, this process can slow down and reduce your brain’s capacity for short-term memories.

6. Manage stress

Stress can do an enormous amount of harm to the body, and this includes increasing your risk of dementia. It is important to relax, breathe, find inner peace and make some time for fun. You want to keep the brain actively engaged in pleasant memories and decrease your risk for memory problems later in life.

7. Quit smoking

Smoking has been linked to several major health problems such as dementia. Several studies have been done to examine the cognitive performance of heavy smokers versus the performance of those with healthy lifestyles. Those who smoked one pack or more per day experienced the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as early as three years sooner than those who did not smoke.

8. Lower your blood pressure

High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because the negative effects are not always immediately apparent. Dementia is one of the problems that often appears later in life and treating high blood pressure can reduce the risk.

9. Pursue higher education

One of the best ways to keep the mind active is to pursue formal education. This reduces the onset of mental decline and strengthens your nerve cell network. This network helps to compensate for the nerve cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease and lessens the effects of dementia.

10. Be more social

Having a strong social network is important for delaying memory loss. Research shows that people who engage frequently in social interactions are able to maintain their brain function. In fact, one study featuring 800 women age 75 and over showed that those who were socially engaged had a significantly lower risk for developing dementia than those who were reclusive. It is just one of the many, simple things you can do to keep your mind strong.

Advertisement