The biggest risk factor for dementia is ageing – and there is nothing you can do about that. There are lots of other things you can do to reduce your dementia risk, though.
How to Reduce Your Dementia Risk
It’s never too late to develop good habits and start making healthy choices. The latest research recommends some actions to reduce your dementia risk.
Be physically active
Exercise for at least 30 minutes, five times per week. You’ll need to raise your heart rate and become a little out of breath. Walking, cycling and swimming are all good and bring health benefits even if you’re not trying to lose weight.
If you smoke, stop. Smoking puts you at a greater risk of developing dementia and also harms your heart and lungs. For help stopping smoking, talk to your doctor. They can give you help and advice about quitting.
Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet is one with a high proportion of oily fish, fruit and vegetables and low levels of sugar and red meat. A diet like this helps to reduce your risk of dementia and also heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Cut down on saturated fat and sugary treats. Keep an eye on how much salt you have, because it raises your blood pressure.
Keep alcohol within recommended limits
Since 2016 the recommended maximum is 14 units per week for both men and women, spread over at least three days. This is equivalent to four large glasses of wine or seven pints of beer or lager. Regularly exceeding the limit increases your risk of dementia.
Take control of your health
If you are offered a mid-life health check by your doctor, accept the invitation. It’s an ‘MOT’ for your body and includes a check of blood pressure, weight and cholesterol. These are all linked to dementia.
Keep to a healthy weight
This reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke – and dementia. Keep a diary of your food and exercise each day, and remember that alcohol has hidden calories.
Give your brain a daily workout
Reading, puzzles, word searches or crosswords all help, if you aren’t up to learning another language!
For more information about reducing your dementia risk and how Barton Park residential care Southport specialist can help contact us today.