Healthy living is key to helping you stay physically and mentally fit. By embracing a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a nutritious diet, sufficient rest, socialization and reduced stress, you can improve both your physical and mental health. According to current research, healthy living choices could even reduce the risk of developing brain disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
While there’s no conclusive evidence that certain factors can make Alzheimer’s a preventable disease, healthy living is certainly a step in the right direction toward stronger mental health and awareness.
What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease?
Various factors contribute towards people developing Alzheimer’s disease. A person’s age, physical health, genetics, environment and lifestyle can all affect cognitive decline leading to dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Although some of these factors can’t be altered, i.e. age and genetics, others are very much within your control. By taking measures to boost your physical and mental health, you can do your part to minimize the risk of Alzheimer’s. Such measures include:
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Stay socially active
- Protect yourself against head injuries
- Quit smoking
- Reduce stress and fight depression
Diet and Exercise
An active lifestyle will improve both your physical and mental faculties. Regular exercise will strengthen your heart, improve blood circulation and help you maintain proper weight. By increasing the flow of blood and oxygen through your brain, exercise will help stimulate your mental awareness. An active brain is more likely to keep the symptoms of Alzheimer’s at bay.
A nutritious diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy foods, fish, legumes and healthy fats with limited consumption of sugar, alcohol, red meats and saturated fats can also contribute to a healthier brain. Healthy eating habits will reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol levels, obesity and heart ailments – all of which can be harmful to your physical and mental health.
Socialization is yet another means of reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. Social interaction stimulates your brain cells, which, in turn, enhances your cognitive abilities. Even simple activities such as playing games, doing crossword puzzles or daily conversations with family and friends will help keep your brain mentally active and alert, minimizing cognitive decline.
According to research, a serious head injury, particularly one that produces unconsciousness, could result in developing Alzheimer’s. By protecting yourself against head injuries, you reduce the risk of suffering from this disease. If you drive, remember to always use your seat belt. You can also safeguard your home against slips and falls that could result in head trauma.
As you grow older and become limited with your mobility, you may need assistance to navigate your home safely or to perform daily tasks in your personal care. A Friendship at Home home care coordinator can provide you with assisted living services to meet your physical, mental and social needs. Contact us at Friendship at Home today to see how we can help you continue to live an active, happy, productive life well into your golden years.