While life-altering cognitive decline is not always a part of aging, one in three people is likely to have some form of dementia by age 85. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s diseases or any other form of dementia, and the few existing treatments can only slow the onset and progression of these conditions. Prevention is our best weapon, and lifestyle choices play a major role in keeping our brains healthy.
- Take Care of Your Heart. Work with your healthcare provider to control blood pressure, blood sugar, and serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Get Moving. Engage in moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
- Eat Right. Consume a healthy dietary pattern, such as a Mediterranean-style diet, reduced sodium DASH diet, or the AHA heart healthy diet described on page 2.
- Butt Out. Avoid exposure to tobacco products.
- Watch your Head. Reduce risk of head injuries by wearing appropriate safety helmets and practicing fall prevention.
- Keep the Mind Active. Engage in novel cognitive activities, like continuing formal education, learning a new language or instrument, or doing challenging puzzles.
- Rest and Relax. Get good quality sleep (treat sleep apnea if present), and manage stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Prioritize Friends. Stay socially active.
- Listen Up. Seek help to improve your hearing if you suspect you don’t hear well.