A new year has begun and the year is full of promise and possibility. As you set your goals for the year and make your resolutions, keep in mind long term life changes that can prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. Small changes in your every day eating and lifestyle habits can make a big difference in your mental health.
Consider making a commitment to a brain-healthy lifestyle by getting regular exercise, eating healthy, sleeping well, and managing stress.
Physical exercise reduces your risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 50%. It’s never too late to begin an exercise program and doing so can slow the symptoms of the disease in those already diagnosed. Commit to at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week and include balance, coordination, and strength exercises to ensure a safe and effective workout.
The correlation between diet and Alzheimer’s can not be understated. With new studies showing that Alzheimer’s may be a third form of diabetes, we are more equipped than ever to make good nutritional decisions that boost our brain power. Some diets, such as a Mediterranean diet rich in omega-3 fats, have been shown to protect against neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Studies have shown that while our bodies may be resting while we sleep, our brains are incredibly busy flushing out dementia-causing toxins. Restorative sleep can clean out byproducts of activity, including the beta-amyloid protein which is found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Commit to making sleep a priority in your life in the new year and reap the benefits of improved brain health!
Are you frequently stressed? A recent study shows that stress in middle age can cause dementia later in life. The study showed that there were more beta-amyloid proteins (proteins that are associated with Alzheimer’s) in mice who were highly stressed. The link between stress and Alzheimer’s seems to be strengthened for middle-aged women. A study that gathered data from 800 women for over 37 years showed that the women who reported stress were 20% more likely to develop a form of dementia later in life. Fight stress in the new year by taking time to meditate, accepting help from family, and physical exercise.
What is your New Year’s Resolution to prevent Alzheimer’s? Share with us in the comments below!