[dropcap]Y[/dropcap]ou’ve already stopped smoking cos that’s a no-brainer, right? As many as 14% of all dementia cases may be a direct result of lighting up, which means it’s never too soon to quit. Here are 5 more simple lifestyle changes you can make that will reduce your dementia risk today. Alzheimers and other forms of dementia have a huge impact on everyone they touch, but even small lifestyle changes can delay dementia.
Learn a new language.
Forget school language lessons and learning about “the pen of my aunt”. Learning a second (or third, or fourth) language today is fast and fun. Free apps like DuoLingo on your phone, or paid-for online courses like Fluenz have transformed the way we learn. Want to learn Arabic? Need to know Zulu? Start learning and delay Alzheimers for 4 years or more.
When it comes to brain health, laughter really is the best medicine. A good belly laugh reduces stress hormones and strengthens your immune system. Put on a rib-tickling DVD, pour a glass of wine and chuckle away.
Go for a walk
Or even better, go for a run. Getting plenty of exercise can have a massive impact on your risk for dementia. Couch potato? Move a little more today than you did yesterday, and build it up gently. Walk the dog or run with friends for maximum benefit. Need new running shoes? I love my New Balance trainers, they fit perfectly right out of the box.
A busy life with a sense of purpose helps stave off dementia. People who volunteer, have an active role in their community and spend time being sociable tend to have healthier brains. Get involved with something that fires you up, or organise an event.
Have a glass of red
Or dark chocolate or raspberries..they all contain ingredients that protect your brain. In fact having a glass of wine a day means you have a lower chance of developing dementia and Alzheimers than someone who never drinks at all. Cheers to that!
On that note I’m off for a walk, then I have space booked on the sofa with a friend, a glass of red and the funniest film of all time. How will you reduce your dementia risk today?