There is no cure for either condition, however, there are some useful methods to try to help prevent Alzheimer's and dementia from affecting your life. According to the Mayo Clinic, these conditions start out mild and get worse over time. There are ways to slow the condition but it's better to take steps to prevent it in the first place.
Get Plenty of Cardio
According to the experts, getting regular exercise is important for preventing dementia. In fact, statistics from the Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation show that engaging in regular physical fitness can cut your risk by as much as 50 percent. Aim for at least 150 minutes of cardio each week. Power, walking, jogging, biking and swimming are great choices.
Add Strength Training
Lean muscles help keep your brain in top shape. As such, adding a couple of strength training sessions to your weekly schedule is incredibly beneficial and, if you're trying to prevent Alzheimer's and Dementia, this could make a real difference. Lifting weights, doing yoga or using resistance bands are all great choices when it comes to strength training. Two or three 20-minute sessions each week is all it takes for most people to reap the rewards.
Think About Coordination
Because the risk of falls grows as you get older, it's best to include balance and coordination exercises in your routine. A fall can lead to dementia and Alzheimer's, so you don't want to skimp in this area. Yoga, tai chi and balance balls are all great ways to build both coordination and healthy balance.
Try the Mediterranean Diet
According to the experts at the Mayo Clinic, the Mediterranean diet is a good choice for boosting brain health and preserving cognitive function, which helps prevent Alzheimer's and dementia. The reason is that the diet is heavy on plants and healthy fats without a lot of red meat and junk food. Fill your plate with fish, olive oil, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains. Not only can this ward off dementia, but it boosts health in other areas, too.
Choose Foods to Protect Glial Cells
Glial cells are responsible for removing toxins from your brain that can lead to Alzheimer's. Certain foods optimize their function, and eating them on a regular basis can help your brain stay healthy and prevent dementia. Foods that boost glial cell health and function include green tea, blueberries, fish, ginger and soy, report the experts at Help Guide.
Eat More Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These fatty acids are in a group of healthy fats that are essential for proper brain health. Making sure your diet is rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps fight dementia and keeps your cognitive function high. Choose salmon, flaxseed, trout and sardines. You can also take a supplement if you aren't getting enough. Talk to your doctor about an appropriate amount for you to help prevent Alzheimer's and dementia.
Limit Trans and Saturated Fats
These types of fats produce free radicals in your body, which can affect proper brain health. Read labels carefully to be sure you are limiting your intake. In general, you'll want to avoid fried foods, fast food, sugary snacks, processed meats and certain full-fat dairy foods.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, which battle free radicals and keep your brain functioning at top capacity. You want to choose a wide range of colors and types to cover all of your nutrient needs and optimize your antioxidant intake.
Drink More Tea
Tea is one of the most antioxidant-rich foods or drinks available, and it has many benefits for your brain health. Particularly noteworthy is green tea, which studies have shown can improve memory and mental alertness and reduce brain aging. Both white and oolong teas also have benefits, according to the Help Guide. Sip a couple of glasses each day to cover your bases.
Enjoy Your Red Wine
You don't want to drink too much because that can harm your health, but a glass or two of red wine per day can actually be good for your brain. Certain compounds in grapes help fight oxidative damage in your brain. If you don't drink or don't like red wine, grape juice has similar benefits.
Learn New Things
Experts say that learning new things keeps your brain working and active, which is important for preventing cognitive decline from occurring. Take a class, learn a language or play an instrument for good results. You might also try taking new routes home from work, using your non-dominant hand or going somewhere you've never been.
Memorization helps keeps your brain working and can help keep it working and healthy. Memorize the states, the capitals or anything else to keep your brain in top shape. It doesn't matter what you memorize as long as you work on it often and consistently.
Enjoy Strategy Activities
Strategy activities are of vital importance for preventing dementia and Alzheimer's. This includes games, puzzles and riddles that challenge your brain and make you think. When you provide your brain with such a mental workout, you prime it to stay in shape for a lifetime and ensure that your brain continues operating at top capacity regardless of your age. Crosswords, Sudoku, Battleship, Scrabble, board games and card games are all choices that will provide huge benefits for your brain health.
Get Proper Sleep
You might be surprised to find that sleep plays a large role in your risk of Alzheimer's or dementia. Poor sleep can lead to debris in your brain that clogs it up and interferes with proper memory retention while you sleep. To get adequate sleep, experts suggest creating a relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom such as by using lavender oils, creating a routine that helps you fall asleep and stay asleep, and seeing a professional if you have trouble getting enough sleep.
Manage Your Stress
This is often easier said than done, but being under too much stress increases your risk of developing cognitive decline. Chronic stress can lead to shrinkage in the part of your brain that is responsible for memory. Control your stress by learning deep breathing techniques, doing things that relax you, meditating, praying, doing things you have always enjoyed, and spending time laughing on a daily basis.
Hang Out with Others
Spending time with friends and family allows you to foster social connections, which improves both memory and cognition. Isolation can cause your brain to decline, so you want to make time to spend with others. The best connections occur in face-to-face situations. You can build new and beneficial relationships by joining clubs, volunteering, taking a class or going out to eat or to the movies with friends.