Researchers project that the number of people who live with dementia, a neurodegenerative syndrome, will more than triple by the year 2050. However, many of these dementia cases could be prevented or delayed by certain lifestyle choices and habits. People cannot control their genetics or change their socio-economic circumstances earlier on in life. But they can make lifestyle choices such as exercising regularly to improve their health. Read on to learn more about the tips you or your loved ones can follow to lower the risks of dementia!
Education And Cognitive Health
Receiving greater levels of education in early life may help to reduce the risk of getting dementia. The more we learn, the more we build up a cognitive reserve. Although connections between brain cells start to falter due to aging and sickness, we have more reserve and more resilience against illnesses.
Engaging in intellectual activities even later in life can help maintain cognitive abilities as well. People who read or played games were less likely to develop dementia. People who participated in physical, intellectual, and social activities often during middle age were more likely to experience stronger cognition in old age.
Cut Excessive Drinking
Excessive consumption of alcohol can result in damaged brain cells, shrinkage of brain tissues and nutritional deficiencies. A study shows that alcohol use disorder is a huge risk factor for dementia, especially early-onset dementia. It is recommended that we drink less than 210 milliliters of alcohol per week. For people who drink a lot, cutting back on alcohol by a little every day is the safest and most effective way to decrease one’s consumption of alcohol.
Research shows people that obesity can lead to an individual having a higher risk of developing dementia later in life. Obesity is strongly linked to chronic health problems in old age. Obesity is a big risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, which can damage blood vessels in the brain and also reduce blood flow. This results in inflammation and oxidative stress, eventually leading to the death of brain cells. If you or your loved ones are obese, try to lose weight by cutting out excess calories and reducing sugar along with exercising and staying active.
Form Social Connections
Building social connections can increase a person’s cognitive reserve. Listening to others and interacting with them keeps our brains healthy and active. Social isolation can increase a person’s risk of dementia. Do go out and talk to people more often. Just chatting over coffee or food, or walking with other people can be helpful. You or your loved ones can also move to a retirement community to enjoy plenty of opportunities to socialize with peers.
Exercising regularly will help to reduce the risk of developing dementia. Exercise can help trigger neurochemicals and create neural pathways in the brain, improving learning, memory and mood. Try to get about 150 to 210 minutes of exercise a week. Simply having 15 minutes of exercise three or more times a week can go a long way rather than being inactive.