4 Ways to Prevent Alzheimer’s
Many individuals are fortunate enough to age flawlessly, while others will struggle with a variety of diseases as a result of the aging body. For those who have aging members in their families struggling with their health, it can be difficult to watch them slowly lose their awareness, personality or memory.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it was estimated that 5.3 million Americans of all ages had Alzheimer’s disease in 2015. As the baby boomer population continues to age, it’s also estimated that, by 2025, there will be 7.1 million individuals over the age of 65 with Alzheimer’s.
With the alarming number of individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s, it’s never too late for individuals both young and old to begin preventative measures. There are a variety of practices that can help prevent or slow the spread of the disease, and many are simple practices you can begin today.
Looking for daily routines to help prevent or slow Alzheimer’s? Consider this list of helpful practices to improve your cognitive function:
1. MAINTAIN A LIVELY SOCIAL LIFE
When we are isolated and alone, our brains do not perform at their highest ability. Being able to communicate with others and have meaningful conversation one-on-one are important practices that will help the brain to stay happy and healthy. For older citizens, being social may even help to slow the onset of Alzheimer’s so it’s important to allow them to interact frequently with others.
The idea is not to be overwhelmed by large groups, as this may make communicating less successful. To prevent Alzheimer’s, try to keep conversations personal to get the best interactions possible. For older individuals, have them take part in activities that encourage conversation, such as volunteer work, classes, community center events for seniors, etc.
2. GET DAILY EXERCISE
A healthy body means a healthy brain, too! Lack of exercise and laziness only encourages the brain to start working in the same way, so it’s important to get outside and start exercising with your entire body. It’s been suggested that physical exercise can reduce your likeliness of developing the disease by fifty percent, and that it can help slow the disease in those who already have it.
For those who aren’t incredibly active, it’s just as important to get moving as it is to take part in exercise routines. Performing chores and going for walks may not be as effective, but they will still be much more beneficial than no exercise at all. It is suggested that those trying to prevent Alzheimer’s exercise 4-5 days week at moderate levels, and that a combination of both strength training and cardio be encouraged.
If possible, it’s great for elderly individuals to also take part in routines that include both strength training and cardio. Combining the two will help to strengthen the muscle mass and, in turn, the brain’s health. Depending on the individual, you can start slow and work your way up with exercises. Other options include yoga, water aerobics, and balance exercises.
3. PRACTICE BRAIN STIMULATION
Of course, one of the best ways to prevent or slow Alzheimer’s is to work directly with the source and improve the cognitive function of the brain. Challenging yourself constantly and giving your brain lots of projects to focus on throughout your life are great ways to ensure that it stays healthy and alert even as you age.
To remain mentally sharp, try to perform mental exercises every day that stimulate activity. There are so many exercises that can help you to increase cognitive abilities. Some of the options include:
- Work on puzzles and riddles, such as crossword puzzles and Sudoku.
- Play games like Chess.
- Practice memorization. This could be lists, a script, poetry, etc.
- Begin a new hobby. Learn a new language, take up knitting, coloring, etc.
4. ENCOURAGE A HEALTHY DIET
What we eat is what our body will rely on for the nutrients and energy it needs to perform effectively. When we make poor choices about our nutrition, our body is ultimately the one thing that suffers most. For individuals trying to prevent or slow Alzheimer’s, there are some foods that will be very beneficial to their cause.
It’s important to note that Alzheimer’s can be strongly influenced by a diet that promotes normal energy production, removal of debris and toxins, and low inflammation.
To lower inflammation, individuals should focus on eating healthy fats, as opposed to trans fats and saturated fats. Saturated fats will encourage inflammation in the brain and they are found in processed foods, fast foods, deep fried foods, etc. Some good fats include avocados, nuts, and fatty fish.
Individuals will want to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables to get lots of helpful vitamins and antioxidants, as well as increase their omega-3 fats, which you can find in fish, eggs, and fish oil, as well as flax and chia seeds, and purslane. Other helpful products for Alzheimer’s prevention include whole grains, beans, and daily cups of green tea.
It’s never easy to see someone you love begin to lose the memories of their life. However, knowing that there are ways to prevent or slow Alzheimer’s might ease that burden and help you to embrace practices that may improve the situation. If you’re struggling with a friend or family member who is showing signs of Alzheimer’s, you may consider a professional caregiver who has experience in the field of Alzheimer’s and dementia care.
To aid in Alzheimer’s prevention, consider the tips suggested, as well as make the conscious effort to avoid smoking, overeating, and overdrinking.