No matter how young you are, it doesn’t hurt to begin looking at ways to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. My great-grandpa is 96 and is currently suffering from Alzheimer’s. This is a disease that the science world is making great strides with, but at the same time we know very little about it! Research has revealed some ways to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and the great thing about them is that they are very enjoyable!
Whether it is a language, history, or even just doing a crossword, learning something is one of the greatest ways to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Thanks to the Internet, learning is pretty much a free for all these days. Coursera is brimming with amazing courses. If you head over to Amazon’s Kindle store, you can find old books for free, and some authors even give theirs away periodically anyway. If you use the Duolingo app, you can enhance your language skills.
Exercising isn’t just good for your heart. Leading Alzheimer’s research groups have found that working out five times a week for 30-minutes can reduce your risk by 50%. This doesn’t mean doing just cardio. Doing strength training supports brain development too! Some charities also recommend throwing balance-based exercises in too, such as yoga.
Your brain needs plenty of nutritious food so it can support you! Eating regimes that promote reduced inflammation are highly beneficial, for example, a Mediterranean diet. In general, placing emphasis on fish, nuts, fruit, and vegetables will serve your brain well. You can also supplement your current diet with fish oil if you are not a fish fan.
I have a terrible relationship with sleep and I would really love to get more of it. If you are the same, taking certain steps towards balancing your sleep can help reduce your Alzheimer’s risk. This means setting a particular bedtime each night, avoiding caffeine after 3pm, and not sleeping in unnecessarily. If you are lying in bed awake and pondering life, get out after 20-minutes, do something else, then get back in. When you start getting more sleep, you reduce your Alzheimer’s risk.
Did you know that too much stress can shrink your brain’s memory centers? De-stressing can have a positive impact on your brain’s future. As stress can hamper the way your nerve cells grow, this is incredibly important. To reduce stress, I like to practice deep breathing and yoga. Sometimes just doing something you REALLY love instead of working is a good idea. Taking a day to yourself can give you weeks of stress-free living, so treat yourself every once-in-a-while.
If you do not have an active social life, you could be increasing your risk of Alzheimer’s. The more connected you are, the better your memory and cognition is. Understandably, socializing is hard for parents and others with caring responsibilities. The good news is, simply chatting to family and friends on the phone can help. If you can, start joining local activity groups. Even an hour a week can make a big difference.
Yay for red wine! It reduces inflammation everywhere when you enjoy it in moderation. It also minimizes oxidative stress, which helps your brain. Try finding one you really love and enjoy a small glass each day. I am a massive fan of ANY Malbec; thanks for that, Argentina!
As you can probably see, reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s is all about small and enjoyable lifestyle changes. There is no pressure; just the need to make a few tweaks here and there. Unfortunately, there are risk factors we cannot control—such as genetics. If you have a personal relationship with Alzheimer’s, what is it? Also, feel free to share ways to reduce your risk!
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