How to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease is one of the most worrying diseases out there and is something that we all fear suffering with. However, we have all been led to believe that all we can do is hope that there will one day be a cure discovered but the truth is far more encouraging. We are able to take steps to help protect ourselves.
In a few recent research studies, there have been some discoveries made on the ways we can reduce the risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia. These will be simple but yet effective lifestyle changes that we could all implement with ease. The general idea is that as long as you live a brain-healthy lifestyle, you may be able to prevent or help the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease altogether. It may even be possible to reverse the deterioration process.
While there are factors within Alzheimer’s Disease that are out of your control, such as genetics and age, there are things that you can do to help. There are six steps to living a brain-healthy life that you have full control over!
Six Steps to a Brain-Healthy Life
The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation has been doing some research into the benefits of exercise and the connection between brain health. They found that those who are completing regular exercise can reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease by a massive 50%. Not only can it help protect you but it may also help to slow down any further deterioration for people who have started to develop some brain function problems.
The way exercise works is by stimulating the brains ability to hold onto old connections as well as being able to make new ones. You should be aiming to complete around 150 minutes of exercise each week of moderate intensity and try to include some coordination exercises as well. Coordination and balance exercises will protect you from falls which can prevent head injuries which make you a higher risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
#2Have heard of neurobics. Neurobics or mental tasks are designed to stimulate the brain and help prevent memory loss. ‘Some cognitive scientists are urging that we practice ‘neurobics’ – activities designed to enrich the connections between brain cells.’
Examples of Neurobics
Spend time in a new environment. Go to a new park or a new store. Travel, by the way, seems to slow age-related mental decline.
Smell new odors in the morning. Have new odors, like a bottle of mint extract ready to smell first thing in the morning, to “wake up” your brain.
Take a shower with your eyes closed. Your other senses become more active when you cannot see, and a shower engages several senses.
Try brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand. This is difficult for some of us and requires full attention the first time you try it.
Put on different clothes. Ever notice how you feel differently when you wear different clothes? You may think differently as well. Give it a try.
Learn to read braille. This is a tough one, but learning to read with your fingers definitely, involves one of your senses in a new context. Or, you could try learning American Sign Language since this also uses your fingers.
Respond to a situation differently. Catch yourself in a normal and mostly unconscious response to a situation, and choose to respond in a different (and preferably better) way.
Find a new route to work. It doesn’t have to be a longer route – just different. You may even find a faster way to work once you break your routine.
Act confidently. In a situation you are unsure about, choose to act confidently. You’ll notice that your mind gets very active once you adopt the assumption that you will know what to do.
Distinguish coins using only your sense of touch. This brain exercise can be a way to kill time when waiting for an appointment. If you really want a challenge, see if you can distinguish paper currency denominations by touch.
Leave the lights off in the house. Get around your home by memory and feel. This certainly fully engages your attention, but be careful of course.
Following the simple guidelines above (full attention, use senses in a new context, break your routine), and you can invent your own neurobic routines. Have some fun with these brain exercises – having fun usually fully engages your attention.
Try this one
#3 Exercise and a healthy diet tend to go hand in hand with each other. The reason why having a good diet works well in protecting your brain health is that there has been research that suggests a strong link between the metabolic system and signal processing system. Inflammation, as well as insulin resistance, will injure your neurons and stop communication between the brain cells, through eating well you are able to reduce inflammation to stop this from happening.
Supplements that are great to take are Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Folic Acid, Magnesium and Fish Oil as they can help you to further preserve your brain.
#4 Be Social!
Remaining social as we get older can often be challenging, however, it is so beneficial for your health (both mental and physically). Human beings hate being isolated and so does your brain! By being as social as you can be, it can protect you against suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.
When we say ‘social’ we mean face-to-face contact is preferable, by that we also mean that social media is not the best form of social interaction as you can get.
#5 Get Good Sleep!
Sleep is so important for our health and cannot be underestimated. People who have Alzheimer’s Disease often suffer from sleep problems such as insomnia. Research studies have shown that by having regular poor sleep that it can interfere with memory problems, specifically memory formation.
#6 Stimulate Your Mind
It is well known that as long as you challenge your brain that it keeps your brain working at its best. If you continue to learn new things as you get older then you are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease.
One particular study showed that older adults who completed 10 sessions of brain training it improved their brain function in daily activities as well as had lasting improvements 10 years on.
To challenge your brain you could complete puzzles, riddles and play some games that keep your brain thinking such as memory games.
Stress is known to take a toll on your health but it may not be as known to put a strain on your brain as well. If you suffer with chronic or persistent stress then you may experience problems with your memory as it can shrink your key memory area. Stress can also slow down the growth of your nerve cells which increases the risk of you getting Alzheimer’s Disease.
Brain health requires a whole health approach as you can see. Strengthening the mind and body with healthy food, friends, exercise, and mindfulness all make for a better brain.
If you want more information on whole healthy living and how you can take the next step towards a healthier you mind body and smile please reach out.
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