Although ageing is the biggest risk factor for dementia and cannot be changed, there are a couple of things you can do to reduce the risk. There is no such thing as too young when it come to developing habits, but middle age (about 40 to 64) is an excellent time to start making healthy choices. Adopting a healthier lifestyle is a lot easier if you can incorporate it to your usual daily routine.
Below you will find the top tips to reduce the risk of dementia according to latest research. Adopting several of these tips instead of just one or two will lower the risk even more.
7) Stay physically active.
Aside from being good to your heart and mental well being, consistent physical activity in middle aged or older adults reduces the risk of developing dementia. Do some physical exercises for at least 30 minutes, five times a week. Remember that you need to be active enough to increase your heart rate and get a bit out of breath.
6) Stop smoking.
Aside from damaging your lungs, blood circulation and heart, smoking also greatly increases the risk of developing dementia. If you plan to stop smoking, seek help and advice from your doctor.
5) Have a healthy balanced diet.
Your diet should consist of a lot of oily fish, low levels of red meat and sugar, vegetables fruits, olive oil and unrefined cereals. This type of diet will help reduce your risk of dementia as well as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. Do cut down on foods filled with saturated fat like cakes, cheeses and biscuits and also restrain from sugary foods. Limit your salt intake as it can raise your blood pressure increase your risk of stroke.
4) Limit your alcohol intake.
As of 2016, the alcohol limit for men and women is a maximum of 14 units per week. This translates to around 4-5 large glasses of wine or 7 pints of lager or beer. Frequently exceeding the recommended alcohol weekly limit greatly raises your dementia risk so always keep an eye on your alcohol intake. If you have a hard time cutting down your alcohol consumption, talk to your doctor and ask about what support is available.
3) Take control of your health.
Make it a habit to have a regular health check up with your doctor. Regularly check your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels as these factors are linked to dementia.
2) Maintain a healthy weight.
Keeping a healthy weight will not only reduce your risk of dementia, it will also keep you from developing heart disease and diabetes. Watching what you eat and exercising at least five times a week are proven ways to control your weight. If you have a hard time taking control of your unhealthy and weight-gaining habits, joining a gym or a weight loss group greatly helps.
1) Give your brain a daily workout.
Brain workouts include reading, solving puzzles, doing crosswords or word searches or learning something new. Keeping your mind active all the time has been proven to minimize the risk of dementia. There are also studies which say that having a good social network and being socially engaged greatly helps in reducing your chances of developing dementia. If you have a limited social circle, try joining a club or volunteer for something in your town.