Dementia is a term that encompasses various forms of degenerative neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. These disorders are not a normal part of aging even though they usually come about in old age. Although there are currently no cures for these illnesses, there are some preventative measures you can take. These measures boil down to one thing: living a healthy lifestyle.
Some Tips to Consider
Living a healthy lifestyle means more than dieting and exercising, it also means stimulating your brain, socializing and maintaining happiness levels. Here are some tips to follow:
1) Start an exercise routine: A great way to get into exercise is to start an activity that is doable and do it at least three to five times a week for thirty minutes. Great exercises for beginners are walking, swimming, or doing a cardio machine. Remember to consult your doctor before doing any new form of exercise.
2) Eat well: There is a diet centered to the prevention of neurological diseases called the MIND diet. This diet is mixture of the Mediterranean and DASH diets and emphasizes aspects of both that help prevent degenerative neurological diseases. For instance, the MIND diet emphasizes eating full servings of vegetables, lean meats, berries, nuts, and legumes. Read ElderCare’s previous blog on the MIND diet here to learn more.
3) Socialize and meet people: Pursue a hobby you like and try to find others in your local community who can join you. This can involve book clubs or any other groups who meet weekly to perform a same activity together. If you like going to the gym, then group exercises classes are just one idea. Or if you prefer to go out with friends, then plan weekly events at the movies or host potlucks. There are many things you can do to meet and socially engage with other people.
4) Try to reduce your stress levels: Many of the suggestions above can help you reduce stress. Another option is to practice mindfulness techniques. For example, you can practice breathing for ten minutes a day. To do this: Find a time during the day when there are little to no distractions. Inhale for four seconds and exhale for four seconds, counting the seconds in your head. Counting seconds will help you concentrate on the rhythm of your breathing and stay focused. You can find other approaches to mindfulness and stress-reduction by seeing a counselor who will be able to recommend more techniques.
5) Stimulate your brain: Try new activities! Read books, do puzzles, pick up a new language, or take pottery classes. Also, try changing your everyday routine if you can manage it. Take a new route to work or try to go to places you have never before visited. Starting new activities or changing your daily routine are ways to help keep you alert and sharp. Such practices are linked to dementia prevention.
Being aware of what you can do to live a healthy lifestyle is the crucial first step to a healthy mind. If you have any question about what more you should do, then please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or you can visit our website.