Dementia is all too common, and a truly heartbreaking state to be in, both for the sufferer and those that love them. It is not the ideal way to come to the end of ones life, and so far there is no known cure or official preventative measures that can be taken to guarantee its absence in any given person. Unfortunately, like with many other degenerative diseases, it strikes randomly and without preference of gender, sex, nationality or stature.
Dementia is a syndrome which causes deterioration in behaviour, memory, and mental ability. Due to medical advances, we are able to have longer lifespans, however, this means as we age, our chances of suffering from a neurodegenerative disease increases. Even though there are no official preventative measures, there are certain activities we can incorporate into daily life from early on to help prevent the onset of such diseases.
By implementing these activities we can improve cognitive functions, overall health and hopefully lead happier and longer lives. At the very least, if we are unfortunate to be one of the many who encounter dementia, we can help to delay it’s attack. At the most, we can hope to prevent it entirely.
1-Maintain a balanced weight
Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and healthy carbohydrates will keep the mind and body balanced. Obesity is proven to cause hypertension, raised cholesterol levels, increased risk of heart disease and an increased risk of dementia.
Smoking not only provokes the growth of cancer cells, but causes oxidative stress which damages brain cells. It leads to narrowing of blood vessels which restrict flow to vital organs such as the heart and brain. Smoking has also been linked with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and strokes. Those who have suffered a stroke are more likely to suffer from dementia.
3-Don’t stop moving and grooving!
There are one million and one reasons to get into an exercise regime. Aerobic exercises such as swimming, climbing, running, cycling, dancing and walking, are not only fun and stimulating for the body, but also for the mind. It is believed that participation in regular physical activity cuts your lifetime risk for dementia by 50%. Now there’s all the more reason to get out there and keep moving and grooving!
4- Use a brain-training app
These days, technology can often get in the way and be a cause of stress. Since we’re on our devices most of the time anyway, why not use them for our ultimate advantage? Brain training is a legitimate technique which can improve our weakest cognitive skills and promote brain cell growth. Think of brain training games as the equivalent of going to the gym… but for our minds.
5-Say yes to new adventures
When exposed to new environments, or in the process of learning a new skill, our brain has to work harder. Essentially, it’s activating resources that are often dormant when following our usual routines. When the brain is stimulated in this manner, it starts building more connections between neurons, which strengthens the cells’ communications with one another. A great example of this type of stimulation would be learning a new language.
6-Ditch toxic habits
Aside from smoking, the other big NO is excessive alcohol consumption. We’re not talking about moderate drinking – in fact light to moderate drinking can even reduce the risk of dementia. It’s regular binge drinking and drunkeness which is really harmful. The more you drink, the higher your risk. Simples.
It’s easy to tell someone to worry less, but harder to stop worrying when it’s in your nature to do so. When we worry, we create a lot of stress and tension in the body. Stress is a significant risk factor for dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases, as well as a whole host of illnesses.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to build up stress and harder to break loose from it. One way to end the cycle is to slowly take things off of your worry list. Then throw the whole thing away. Life is just too short to spend it wasted on years filled with dread, stress and concerns.
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Whatever you choose here with us at The School of Natural Health Sciences, you can be sure that your CV, spectrum of knowledge, and outlook on life will be forever enriched.