How to reduce the risk of dementia?
Dementia is a health condition mostly associated with aging but there are ways in which it can be prevented. The most important things that can reduce the risk of dementia are staying active, eating healthy, and continuously exercising your mind.
- Staying active
It’s very important to find a way of exercising to keep your body and mind fighting despite aging. It is best to start with a small amount of activity and gradually increase it. Every week you can aim for a moderate amount of aerobic activity such as brisk walking, riding a bike, etc, or short vigorous sessions of aerobic activity such as jogging, fast swimming, riding a bike uphill, etc. Try and include resistance activities that require strength and work your muscles at least twice a week. Activities such as digging in your garden, push-ups, sit-ups, etc can also benefit you greatly. Activities like football, netball, running, or circuit training are a great way of combining aerobic activity with resistance training.
- Eating healthy
Just the way a healthy balanced diet reduces your risk of conditions such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, stroke, and heart disease, it can also reduce the risk of dementia. Maintaining a balanced diet means
- Eating a minimum of five portions of fruit and vegetables in a day
- Eating protein such as meat, oily fish, beans, eggs, or pulses at least twice a week
- Limiting your sugar and salt intake
- Consuming starchy foods such as bread, pasta, and potatoes
- Consume less saturated fats
- Drink 6-8 glasses of fluids in a day(this could be water, low-fat milk, or any sugar-free drinks)
- Quit smoking
Just like physical illnesses, smoking increases the risk of dementia also. Smoking affects the circulation of blood in your body and the blood vessels in your brain, heart, and lungs. To quit smoking, you could use a date or event as motivation for stopping. Eg. A New Year’s Resolution. You can opt for less harmful alternatives to smoking such as e-cigarettes, lozenges, or gum.
- Reduce consumption of alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol also increases the risk of dementia. If you consume more than 14 units of alcohol in a week, regularly you’re at the risk of alcohol-related brain damage. Remember to…
- Set yourself a limit and keep track of how much you are drinking
- Opt for low alcohol or alcohol-free drinks
- Exercise your mind
Find something that you like doing as well as challenges your brain and do it regularly.
- Challenge your brain by studying for a qualification or course
- learn a new language
- Try puzzles, crosswords, or quizzes
- play card games or board games
- read books that challenge your mind or write (fiction or non-fiction).
Talking and communicating with loved ones is yet another way of reducing the risk of dementia. Make an effort to stay in touch with people who matter (family and friends) and have a positive attitude. Volunteer, join a club or community group. These are good ways of staying socially active. Consult best internist in Gurgaon.