Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, although it is often associated with advancing age. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that can be fatal. Although researchers are busily racing the clock to find a cure; there is currently no cure for the disease. While there is no cure, researchers have discovered that some healthy lifestyle changes can prevent or delay the disease.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, good health starts with the brain enhancement. The brain is one of the most vital organs in the body and needs care and maintenance just like the rest of the body does.
- Take brain health to heart. Diseases that increase risk of Alzheimer’s include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent these diseases and risk of Alzheimer’s.
- Watch health numbers. Keep body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels within health recommended ranges. If numbers are outside of the normal range, talk to a doctor about lifestyle changes and treatments that can return health numbers to normal.
- Feed the brain. The Alzheimer’s Association recommends a diet that is low in fat and cholesterol. Eat dark skinned fruit and vegetables, antioxidant rich food and make sure to include Vitamins E, D, B-12, folate and omega-3 fatty acids in the diet.
- Exercise and physical activity keeps blood flowing and encourages new brain cells. Physical activity does not have to be exhausting. A daily walk stimulates circulation, improves overall health and helps to keep the brain active. Physical exercise helps to maintain blood flow to the brain, which is essential to good brain health. Exercise also alters the brain chemicals that help to protect the brains.
- Keep the brain active by keeping mentally engaged to build a reserve of brain cells and connections. Reading, writing, game playing and crossword puzzles all keep the brain working.
- Connect with other people. Leisure activities can help to keep the brain occupied and the body healthy. Participate in leisure activities that combine mental, physical and social elements for enjoyment and for health. Connect with others in activities that are interesting to you. Communities often have activities that are low in cost and easy to join. Places of worship gather at least once a week and often offer social and service activities on a regular basis. Consider joining in a volunteer or community organization. Volunteer opportunities are nearly endless and they are always looking for help.
- Protect the brain. Protect the head and brain from physical injury. To take precautions against falls and injuries make sure the house is uncluttered and the walkways are clear. When in an automobile, use a car seat belt. If riding a bicycle, wear a helmet.
- Think ahead. Start today to plan for days when protection may be needed.
Information in this article is not intended as medical advice. If you have questions or concerns about your health, consult a physician.