When it comes to living a long, healthy life, taking preventative steps when you are young is the best medicine. According to experts, about one third of dementia cases could have been prevented with simple life changes.
Implement these simple habits and you can reduce your dementia risk by 35%:
- Stay on top of your hearing and get hearing aids if you need them: Researchers aren’t sure why, but studies have shown a link between cognitive decline and hearing loss. Hearing aids can prevent that decline.
- Keep learning: Reading, adult education classes, crossword puzzles documentaries – whatever you need to do to keep your brain working and learning.
- Don’t smoke: Smoking inhibits the proper oxygen distribution to the brain – and that means cognitive loss
- Treat depression: If you suffer from depression don’t let it go untreated. Research has found a link between depression and dementia, but treatment has been shown to reduce that risk considerably.
- Exercise: Staying fit reduces the stress hormone cortisol, it reduces the risk of vascular problems and it increases nerve growth in the brain related to memory.
- Manage high blood pressure: Untreated high blood pressure leads to degeneration of neurons in the brain.
- Maintain your friendships: People with a strong social circle are less likely to develop dementia and lead happier and healthier lives as they age.
- Keep your weight under control: Obesity is linked to dementia because it reduces blood flow to the brain.
- Control your sugar intake: Sugar can damage organs in your body, including your brain (Vox)