Nearing Middle-Age? Actions You Can Take Now To Reduce Your Risk Of Dementia
If you're nearing middle-age, now's the time to start thinking about dementia, and how to prevent yourself from developing the debilitating disease. According to statistics, about 47 million people worldwide, suffer from dementia, with over 9 million new cases diagnosed each year. Dementia destroys your cognitive ability, robbing you of your ability to process language,thoughts, and even your memories. Luckily, just because you're aging, doesn't mean you're destined to suffer from dementia. In fact, there are steps you can take right now to help reduce your chances of being diagnosed with the disease.
When you participate in aerobic exercise, your body takes in more oxygen, which is passed through to your brain. Oxygen is essential to proper brain function. If you're not getting sufficient aerobic exercise, you could be robbing your brain of vital oxygen, and increasing your risk of developing dementia later in life. To reduce the risk, and increase the amount of oxygen that gets through to your brain, begin taking walks at least once a day. A leisurely walk around the block, or along the neighborhood walking path, will help keep your body healthy, and your brain alert.
Watch Your Weight
If you're overweight, you owe it to yourself to start a weight-loss routine. Studies show that obesity increases your risk of developing dementia by 42%. To reduce your risk, talk to your doctor about developing healthy eating habits, and adding daily exercise such as walking to your routine. Start by reducing the amount of processed foods you eat, and increasing your consumption of fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods such as eggs, almonds, and chicken breast.
Keep Your Brain Active
When your brain is active, it's continually using its neural pathways, especially when it's learning new things. One of the best ways to ward off dementia, is to participate in activities that require your brain to process new information. You can do that by taking classes at the local college, learning a new hobby, or completing crossword puzzles each night.
Enjoy a Healthy Social Life
If you have a healthy social life, you're protecting yourself against dementia. Holding conversations with friends keeps your brain actively engaged. Making new friends engages your brain even more. If you don't have a healthy social life, get involved in community activities, such as volunteering at a local hospital, or library. As your social circle grows, so will your brain activity.
Don't let the fact that you're getting older determine your risk for developing dementia. Take control of your life, and reduce your risk. Talk to your doctor about other steps you can take to protect yourself from the debilitating effects of dementia.