Why maintaining good brain health is so essential
Although there are some risk factors for dementia that cannot be controlled, such as getting older or having a family history of the disease, it is possible to lessen the impact of risk factors that can be managed.
If you put these suggestions and techniques into practice, you won’t just lower your risk of developing dementia; you’ll also be able to do the following:
- Taking care of your brain’s health over the long term,
- Taking care of your physical and mental health will reduce your risk of contracting more chronic and cognitive disorders.
Get some exercise and stay active.
Regular exercisers are less likely to experience diabetes, stroke, or cardiovascular disease, all of which are risk factors for dementia.
Additionally, exercise aids in the circulation of blood to the brain, which in turn nourishes and oxygenates the brain’s cells. In addition, engaging in regular physical activity is an effective way to manage stress and boost mood.
These risk factors for dementia can be mitigated to some degree by engaging in physical activity:
- Unhealthy levels of blood pressure
- Poor cholesterol management
- insufficient amount of physical activity
Here are five suggestions to help you stay physically active.
- Begin where you are and create attainable goals. If you believe that you do not have many opportunities to exercise, you should begin by incorporating some form of physical activity into your normal routine. Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator for the first one or two floors of a building rather than driving there, or go for a brisk walk or roll to the store rather than driving there.
- Instead of thinking of it as “exercise,” think of it as “activity.” If you pick sports and activities that you enjoy doing, then getting some exercise won’t feel like a chore or something you have to check off a list.
- As soon as you get going, aim to get in at least 150 minutes of moderate to strenuous exercise every week. Activities such as walking a dog or riding a bicycle are examples of moderate forms of exercise, whereas activities such as swimming or running are examples of vigorous forms of exercise. If you have limited mobility, engaging in activities like mild yoga or tai chi can help you keep your balance and prevent falls. Such activities can be beneficial.
- Think about engaging in some aerobic activities. Aerobic activities, like walking, swimming, hiking, and dancing, can be used to maintain general fitness. Walking is widely regarded as one of the most advantageous and low-risk forms of aerobic exercise, and numerous authorities strongly recommend it.
- Participating in your chosen physical activity should be pre-planned with a friend. You will have a better chance of staying active this way, while also receiving the benefits of social interaction that are good for your brain.
Engage in sociable behavior.
Maintaining your social connections can assist you in maintaining your mental connections. Interacting with other people regularly has been shown in research to be associated with a lower risk of developing dementia.
The ability to de-stress, improve one’s disposition, and maintain healthy relationships are all benefits of maintaining an active social life.
These risk factors for dementia can be mitigated to some extent by participation in meaningful social activities.
- Social isolation
Here are five suggestions that can help you become more involved in your community.
- Make the most of the opportunities you have each day to interact with other people. Have a conversation with the person driving your taxi or working the register at the store; talk to strangers in the elevator.
- Perform a kind deed without expecting anything in return. It could be as simple as flashing a friendly smile to a stranger as they walk by; whatever it is, spreading joy to others will not only make their day, but it will also make yours.
- Make time in your schedule to volunteer. You’ll find that there are a lot of positive effects on your physical health if you volunteer, regardless of whether you do it through service clubs or by joining a hobby group. It has the potential to boost both one’s self-esteem and one’s confidence, as well as one’s social support network.
- Integrate social interaction into the course of your activity. It could be something physical like going for a walk or taking a fitness class together, or it could be something more intellectual like attending a book club meeting or a performance. Invite someone else to join you in a mental workout by inviting them to play a game. Have fun while also helping to improve your brain’s health.
- Keep up with your old friends and start some new ones. Maintain your social life through activities such as work, volunteering, traveling, hobbies, friends, and family. Maintain an open mind toward trying new things, and don’t be afraid to say yes to the opportunities that others offer you. Maintaining your existing friendships and forming new ones can be done in person, over the phone, via email or social media, or by mailing a letter.
Maintain a balanced diet that you take pleasure in following.
We are aware that maintaining a healthy diet can lower one’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. These diseases and conditions are contributors to the risk of developing dementia.
Not only do dietary decisions that are good for you improve your overall health, but over the long term, eating nutritious food can help you keep your brain functioning properly and stave off cognitive decline.
Eating healthily can help reduce the risk of developing the following forms of dementia:
- Heavy use of alcoholic beverages
- Poor cholesterol management
Here are five suggestions to improve your diet.
1. Think about cutting back on packaged foods, red meat, and sugary treats. Both the Mediterranean and MIND diets—the diets that have received the most attention from major research organizations in the field of dementia—suggest cutting back on processed foods, as well as red meat, sweets, and dairy products. Instead, the focus of these diets is on consuming a greater quantity of fish, fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and olive oil. Diets that center on vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fish are common in a great number of other cultures and regions, and the principles underlying these diets apply to all of them.
2. Indulge in a wide range of foods that come in a rainbow of colors:
- Fruits and vegetables that are blue or purple typically contain a high concentration of antioxidants. There are many delicious food options available, including blackberries, blueberries, ube, purple cabbage, and plums.
- Embrace the green lifestyle by eating fruits and vegetables every day. These foods are good for your brain as well as your bones, teeth, and vision. Green foods include avocados, broccoli, celery, cucumbers, peas, spinach, nori, edamame, pears, honeydew melon, and a variety of other fruits and vegetables.
- Eat plenty of white, tan, and brown-colored fruits and vegetables, including bananas, cauliflower, potatoes, turnips, daikon, onions, and garlic.
- On your plate, put some grapefruit, cantaloupe, butternut squash, peaches, papaya, oranges, sweet potatoes, yellow peppers, and lemons. Other orange and yellow fruits and vegetables include papaya, peaches, and papaya.
- Try to drink more red wine every day. Beets, raspberries, red grapes, radishes, tomatoes, red peppers, watermelon, rhubarb, pomegranates, and cherries are just a few of the delicious red options available.
3. Find ways to add flavor to your food that is good for you. A healthy diet doesn’t have to be boring! Add-ons that are good for you include things like herbs, spices, nuts, and seeds.
4. Take note of the patterns in which you eat. It is recommended that you make water your primary beverage by Canada’s Food Guide. Other suggestions include keeping portion sizes reasonable, eating nutritious snacks, and drinking plenty of water.
5. Make your meal preparations in advance. You can take control of your diet and eliminate the element of chance by establishing and maintaining healthy eating patterns. Even if you have a packed agenda, there are meal-planning websites and apps that you can use to help you organize your schedule, prepare your meals, and select the recipes that will serve you best.