Dementia is a degenerative condition that affects your brain and memory. It can be incredibly debilitating, and it is something that often concerns people as they get older. However, there are steps you can take to help reduce the risk of it affecting you. A few minor changes in your lifestyle now can make an enormous difference to your ability to enjoy your golden years and remain healthy. Here are seven ways to reduce the risk of dementia as you get older.
Exercise can reduce the risk of suffering from dementia for several reasons. It helps your body to stay healthy physically by increasing your blood circulation, reducing the risk of conditions such as diabetes, and helping you to maintain a healthy weight. The great thing is that you don’t have to become an Olympic athlete to benefit from it. Walking, swimming or even gardening can give you enough exercise to reduce the risks.
Healthy eating is a fantastic way to reduce the risk of dementia and it is never too late to get the best out of the food you eat. It is advised to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day to keep you fit and healthy and allow you to offset diseases that can increase your risk of dementia. It is also important to limit your intake of fatty, sugary, and salty foods.
Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your body so drink plenty of water. This will increase your brain function and help you to lower the risk of dementia. You should aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day to keep your body fit and hydrated. However, it is advisable to reduce your intake of caffeine-laden drinks such as tea and coffee.
You should aim to limit the amount of alcohol you drink to no more than 14 units per week as the more alcohol you drink the greater your chances of developing dementia. Binge drinking can lead to brain damage which can increase the likelihood of degenerative disorders as you get older.
Get Regular Check-Ups
There are a variety of independent health problems that can make you more susceptible to dementia. For example, cardiovascular diseases such as type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure can affect the blood supply to the brain which can lead to dementia. Regular check-ups with your doctor can help you to combat or control other issues that can lead to the development of dementia.
Reduce Your Cognitive Load
Dementia can be caused by overloading the part of your brain that deals with cognitive behavior, so it is important to keep your cognitive load as low as possible if you want to avoid brain degeneration. There has been a lot of publicity recently around the link between soccer players and dementia because the technique of heading the ball is said to increase cognitive load. However, it can also be caused by hearing impairment as the brain is forced to focus on poor quality sound, so it is important to get your hearing checked as you get older.
Dementia affects your ability to problem solve and tackle a complex thought process. You can help to combat this by giving your brain a good workout and stimulating the parts of the brain that deal with complexity. Completing crossword puzzles, sudoku, and even playing bingo can help to stimulate your brain power and avoid developing dementia.
Social connection is important at any age but as you get older it can become harder to keep in touch with your old friends or make new ones. This can lead to mental health conditions such as depression and loneliness which increases your susceptibility to dementia.
You can reduce your risk by staying connected to others as you get older. Consider joining a club that caters to your interests so that you can meet like-minded people and stay in touch with existing friends. Many people choose to move to retirement villages such as Belmont as they get older as this offers them a great lifestyle and a chance to make new friends.
Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee that you won’t suffer from dementia as you get older. However, these simple steps can help you to reduce the risks associated with this and other conditions and help you to lead an active and healthy lifestyle well into old age.