If you want to follow a healthy and balanced lifestyle, you must reduce your risk of dementia and other mental illnesses. Here are some evidence-based tips.
You should consider your abilities, your current state of health, and your interests when making brain-healthy decisions. It is important to get more information from your doctor.
The importance of brain health and prevention of dementia
Some risk factors for dementia, such as age and genetics, cannot be changed. However, it is possible to reduce its effects.
With these strategies, you are not only reducing your risk of dementia, but you are also taking care of your brain in the long term, lowering the risk of other chronic and cognitive diseases and taking care of your overall health.
Do physical activity
Heart disease, stroke, and diabetes are risks associated with dementia, but they can be reduced by exercising regularly.
The blood pumped to the brain during these types of activities provides nutrients and oxygen to the cells. You can improve your mood too and reduce stress significantly.
Reduce these risk factors:
- High cholesterol
- circulation problems
Tips to stay more active
Set reasonable goals. Start by adding minutes of physical activity to your daily routine if you don’t have many opportunities to exercise. Walk or jog short distances instead of using the car, or use the stairs instead of mechanical alternatives.
Think of it as “activity,” not “exercise.” Choose activities and sports that you like, so you don’t see them as an obligation.
Try to spend 150 minutes a week exercising moderately to vigorously. Walking your dog or biking are moderate activities, while swimming or running are vigorous activities. Try to move a little more each time.
Do aerobic exercise. Walk, swim, dance. Walking is the most effective activity of all.
Talk about your physical activity plans. This will keep you more active and reap the benefits of social interaction.
Participate in social activities
Maintaining social connections helps you maintain mental connections. Interact with others to avoid developing dementia. With this, you can reduce your stress and improve your mood. An active social life can help you maintain good relationships.
You can combat depression and social isolation with these tips:
Don’t deprive yourself of socializing every day. Talk to the taxi driver or store clerk; talk in the elevator
Do a random act of kindness. Giving back your happiness can be as simple as smiling at someone passing by.
Find time to volunteer. In addition to building self-esteem and confidence, it can also help you expand your social network.
Participate in an activity while interacting with others. Exercises, such as a walk together or a gym class, a book club, or a play, could be part of the activity. Take care of your brain while having fun.
Make new friends and keep the old ones. It is important to maintain social relationships. Take advantage of new experiences: accept invitations and extend yours. Whether you talk on the phone or chat or write a letter, keep in touch.
Eat a healthy diet that you enjoy
Diabetes, heart disease, and stroke can all be reduced through healthy eating. Dementia is associated with these conditions.
The benefits of healthy eating go beyond improving your overall health over time. Nutritious foods help maintain brain function and fight cognitive decline over time.
How to eat healthily?
Cut down on processed foods, meat, and sweets. The Mediterranean diet limits these types of foods, along with meat, sweets, and dairy.
Eat more fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, olive oil, and fish, they are the main ingredients of a good diet. Also consider a vegetarian diet, based on legumes and nuts. Maybe you should add fish.
The antioxidant content of blue and purple fruits and vegetables tends to be high. Eat blackberries, blueberries, ube, purple cabbage, and plums.
Eat fruits and vegetables that are good for your bones, teeth, and vision. Avocados, broccoli, celery, cucumbers, snap peas, spinach, nori, edamame, pears, honeydew, and many others are green options.
Eat fruits and vegetables like bananas, cauliflower, potatoes, turnips, daikon, onions, garlic, and potatoes should be white, toasted, or brown.
Serve orange and yellow fruits and vegetables like grapefruit, cantaloupe, squash, peaches, papaya, oranges, sweet potatoes, yellow bell peppers, and lemons.
Choose red foods, such as beets, raspberries, red grapes, radishes, tomatoes, red bell peppers, watermelon, rhubarb, pomegranates, and cherries.
Enhance your meals with healthy flavors. Eat a healthy diet and enjoy it! Use healthy additions, such as herbs, spices, nuts, and seeds.
Watch your eating habits. Eat small portions, healthy snacks, and plenty of water.
Make a meal plan. Don’t leave your diet to chance. Even if you are very busy, there are apps and websites to plan meals, cook your own food and choose the best recipes.
Choose wisely and safely, everything in moderation
The most important factors determining dementia risk are lifestyle and environmental factors, as well as aging (and sometimes genetics).
Always protect your body to ensure brain health for a lifetime. Protect yourself from ailments and traumas, and make safe decisions.
It is possible to reduce these risk factors for dementia by making good decisions:
- Protects head injuries
- Monitor your hearing loss
- Avoid high consumption of alcohol and tobacco
How to make safe decisions?
Don’t have bad habits. Smoking, excessive drinking, and listening to loud music are examples of bad habits. They’re fun, but they’re not sustainable.
Protect your head. A helmet is important while skating, skiing, skateboarding, scootering, or bicycling. He always wears a helmet.
Make sure your environment is safe. Do you have loud noises in your home or are you exposed to vehicular pollution? Have you installed grab bars in your home to prevent falls?
Keep track of your numbers. Keep your blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight within recommended levels. Dementia is associated with all of these conditions.
Keep regular appointments with your doctor. Follow a diet, have hearing evaluations, and maintain your physical activity.
A person experiences stress every day, but when it persists over time, it can cause vascular changes and chemical imbalances that can damage the brain.
The risk of dementia can be reduced by managing or reducing your stress.
How to manage stress?
Recognize the symptoms of chronic stress:
- Emotional: Depression, tension, anxiety, anger, worry, and/or fear.
- Physical: Headaches, fatigue, insomnia, and/or sweating.
- Mental: Lack of concentration, memory loss, indecision, and/or confusion.
- Behavior: Restlessness, overeating, alcohol and/or drug abuse.
Take time for yourself. Don’t underestimate the importance of exercise, relaxation, entertainment, hobbies, and socialization to our health and well-being. Maintain optimal health by finding a balance that limits stress. Explore a variety of techniques and select what works for you, whether it’s meditation, deep breathing, massage, or physical exercise.
Wait for the unexpected. Identify unrealistic expectations to see what you can and can’t change. Focus on it.
Make sure you get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for most people. Being sleep-deprived can negatively affect your memory, mood, and ability to function.
Accept support and seek it out. Contact a trusted friend or family member. See your doctor if stress symptoms persist.
Put your brain to the test
Brain teasers can also help people with dementia to live well and manage their daily activities, such as finances, cooking, and exercise.
Challenge your brain with these five tips
Keep learning throughout your life. Take up new hobbies and learn new things.
Have fun playing games. Play chess, board games, video games, word and number puzzles, brain teasers, crosswords, sudoku, and memory games.
Remember to keep a routine. Continue to participate in the activities you love. When completing daily tasks, use reminders and other tips and strategies.
Participate in cultural activities. Find community celebrations, music events, and art shows in your area. Go with a friend and talk about it.
Is there something you’re not good at? Give your brain some flexibility and work on improving it. Try a variety of challenges. Something as simple as using your toothbrush with your non-dominant hand can make all the difference.
Take courses, read, or participate in “brain gymnastics” such as crossword puzzles or math problems. Develop your manual dexterity and mental strength by drawing, painting, or doing other crafts.
Keep your brain young
With age, the brain changes and so does mental function. Mental deterioration is a common consequence of aging, but also of bad habits and some excesses. Do something to solve it:
1. Stimulate your mind
Brain activities create new connections between nerve cells and even help the brain generate new cells, develop neurological “plasticity” and build a functional reserve.
Research shows that using your muscles also helps your mind.
3. Improve your diet
Good nutrition can help both your mind and your body.
4. Improve your blood pressure
Cognitive decline in old age is associated with high blood pressure in middle age.
5. Improve your blood sugar level
Dementia is associated with diabetes.
6. Improve your cholesterol
High levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of dementia.
7. Consider low-dose aspirin
The risk of dementia can be reduced with low doses of aspirin. Consult this procedure with your doctor.
8. Avoid tobacco
Avoid smoking in all its forms.
9. Do not abuse alcohol
Excessive alcohol consumption is a major risk factor for dementia. If you choose to drink, limit yourself to two drinks a day.
10. Take care of your emotions
Anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, or exhaustion are factors that contribute to poor cognitive performance.
11. Protect your head
Moderate to severe head injuries, even without diagnosed concussions, increase the risk of cognitive decline.
12. Build social networks
There is a connection between strong social ties and a lower risk of dementia, as well as lower blood pressure and a longer life expectancy.
Did you learn about cognitive care and dementia prevention? Keep reading with us to learn more about your health care: