2.6 min readPublished On: June 4, 2024

Develop Healthy Habits to Avoid Alzheimer’s and Other Forms of Dementia as You Age

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, a good time to focus on brain health. Like your body, your brain can benefit from a healthy lifestyle. While there is no clear understanding of what causes Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, there are things you can do to keep your brain healthy and your mind sharp as long as possible.

The Alzheimer’s Association recommends 10 healthy habits you can develop at any age to help protect your brain health.

Be curious.
Put your brain to work everyday, learning something new. Developing new skills is a way of exercising your brain, especially the underutilized parts. Problem solving, language and fine motor skills are all handled in different parts of your brain that should be exercised regularly.

Keep moving.
Exercise is good for your body, and it’s good for your brain, too. Moving raises your heart rate and increases blood flow to your brain. Find an activity you like and do it every day.

Manage diabetes.
High levels of blood sugar can affect your brain over time and lead to cognitive decline. Keep your diabetes under control and monitored by a health care professional.

Stay Safe.
Prevent falls and other accidents that could injure your head. Your brain is in there, and you want to keep it safe. Always wear a helmet when riding a bike, and put on your seatbelt in the car.

Fuel up.
Food is fuel for your body and your brain. Eating a healthy balance of vegetables and lean proteins can help protect your brain, keeping it sharp and focused. Avoid processed foods and high fat options in your daily diet.

Quit smoking.
Smoking increases your risk of cognitive decline. If you currently smoke, find a way to quit. It’s never too late to improve your brain health.

Avoid high blood pressure.
High blood pressure presents several long-term health risks, including accelerating cognitive decline. Work with your health care provider to keep your blood pressure under control.

Get an education.
Cognitive decline is less likely to happen in people who have a higher level of education. Stay in school and get that diploma. Go back to school and finish your degree or just take continuing education classes.

Watch your weight.
Maintaining a healthy weight can help you avoid cognitive decline. Work with a health care provider to understand the optimum weight for your body and how to get there and stay there.

Sleep well.
Good nights will help you have good days. Quality sleep will help you maintain your brain health. Develop a healthy sleep routine to ensure you’re getting the sleep you need every night.

Everyone experiences cognitive decline as they age. Our ability to think changes, we make decisions slower and struggle more often with memory recall. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that supports your cognitive functions can help slow the decline and may help you avoid dementia, a decline that interferes with daily life. Alzheimer’s is a common cause of dementia, but dementia does not have to be part of your aging process.

About the Author: Christine Andola

Christine Andola
With a bachelor’s degree in communication from the State University of New York, College at New Paltz, in 1990 Christine embarked on a blind journey to building a career. She moved through teaching in the inner city public schools, reporting for a weekly newspaper, writing user manuals and technical documentation at a software company, lobbying and public relations at the state level for national associations and marketing for professional services firms. Christine’s writing portfolio includes everything from newspapers to grant proposals. She has developed web content, written blogs, ghost-written professional journal articles and drafted ad copy. From technical writing to lifestyle feature pieces, Christine lives by the value of words. She enjoys learning about the people around her and sharing information in a way that resonates with readers.

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