According to the WHO, there are over 55 million individuals with dementia around the world–a condition that affects cognitive function and memory outside of the normal expectations of aging. Dementia is even more common among individuals aged 65 and older, but it can affect younger people who are in their 30s, 50s, and 60s as well. There is no cure for dementia, and several factors beyond one’s control, such as genetics and age, can’t be avoided. We spoke with experts to learn what behaviors reduce the risk of developing dementia.
1 — Social Engagement
According to Dr. Smith, “Connections between people create connections in the brain. Socializing on a regular basis provides for the opportunity to converse, debate, learn, laugh, and relax. Engaging in meaningful feel-good engagement is also an effective medicine. Volunteering is one of the most beneficial therapies for the brain.”
2 — Mental Fitness
“Mental exercise is crucial for brain health since it promotes cell growth and connectivity between neurons. Art projects, additional education – such as learning a new language or skill – and chess are all excellent examples of mental activity,” says Smith.
3 — Exercise
“What’s good for your heart health is also good for your brain,” according to John Smith. “Exercise improves blood flow and oxygenation, which delivers fuel to the brain to mental sharpness, improve mood, and sleep quality while also allowing us to lose weight and control chronic health conditions like hypertension.”
According to the CDC, “Physical activity is any bodily movement that gets you moving. Adults require 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week and 2 days of muscle strengthening exercise, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines.”
4 — Nutrition
“Whole grains, lean proteins and leafy greens give your brain excellent energy,” adds Dr. Cole. “Antioxidants, leafy greens, spices, whole grains, omega-3 fatty acids, and lean proteins are all nutrients found in fresh, nutrient-rich diets that stimulate the brain.”
5 — Medical Health
“Without appropriate management, health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol can have a detrimental impact on cognitive function and brain health. Maintaining drug therapy for these persistent disease states while following medical instructions might enhance one’s quality of life while also assisting in the maintenance of one’s brain health,” explains Dr. Smith.