20 June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Day, and it’s a great opportunity for all of us to be reminded about brain health, Alzheimer’s disease, and other dementias. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the leading causes of death which can’t be cured, can hardly be prevented or delayed and can potentially affect everyone who has a brain.
There are an estimated 47 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease and associated dementias worldwide, with that figure likely to rise to 76 million by 2030 if nothing changes. However, everyone can make a difference and take a part in combating this debilitating disease.
Here are 10 things you can start doing now to prevent and fight Alzheimer’s!
1 Get physical
Engage in regular exercise that elevates heart rate and increases blood flow/ studies have shown that physical activity reduces risk of cognitive decline.
2 Continue learning
All types of education help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Enrol for courses online or find a class in your local area.
3 Use your hands (and brain)
Challenge your motor skills. Take up a hobby that requires using both your brain and your hand. Build a piece of furniture, paint, carve out something or take up knitting or sewing.
4 Call a friend
Staying socially engaged supports brain health. Share activities with friends and family and become an active member of the local community.
5 Get enough sleep
Not getting enough sleep may result in problems with mood, memory and clear thinking. Make sure you are having a minimum of 6-7 hours of sleep every night.
6 Look after your diet
Eat a balanced diet that is higher in vegetables and fruit to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
7 Safety first
Brain injury can raise the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Wear a seat belt and use a helmet when playing contact sports or riding a bike.
8 Quit smoking
Smoking increases the risk of cognitive decline. Quitting smoking can reduce risk. to levels comparable to those who have never smoked.
9 Look after your heart
Risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke – obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes -negatively impact your cognitive health.
10 Take care of your mental health
Growing evidence indicates that it is possible to reduce the risk of cognitive decline by adopting key lifestyle habits including those above. When possible, combine these habits to achieve maximum benefit for your brain and body.
If you would like to speak with a counsellor about how we can support you, please contact us.
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