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World Alzheimer's Day: These Small Lifestyle Changes Can Help Keep Dementia at Bay

Eating right, exercise, being social and taking up hobbies is all a part and parcel of a healthy lifestyle, which may help alleviate the risk of Alzheimer's.


Updated:September 21, 2019, 11:26 AM IST
World Alzheimer's Day: These Small Lifestyle Changes Can Help Keep Dementia at Bay
Image: AFP Relaxnews

Observed on September 21 every year, World Alzheimer's Day aims to tackle the medical condition, which is the most common form of dementia. Spreading awareness about the condition may not be enough, as it requires to be faced head-on. A few lifestyle adjustments may help limit the risks of the affliction.

Eating right is the key to keeping healthy. With an aim to a healthy diet, the risks can be kept at bay, as has been proved in the field of medicine as well.

Mediterranean diet (MedDiet), low in meat and dairy but rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, beans, nuts and 'healthy' fats; diets including foods such as berries; avoiding sugary, fatty and processed foods and eating plenty of fruit, vegetables, poultry, fish, and vegetable oil, could all help slow down cognitive decline.

Exercising may seem like a mammoth task, but it comes in various forms, so one can choose what is best for them. Lifting weights can impact the brain, studies have found. If the minimum threshold of working out twice a week is achieved, lifting weights can have a positive impact on the structure of the brain.

Those who prefer an alternative to fast-paced and intense workouts can give yoga a try. It seems that cardio isn't the only brain-boosting exercise, with a small-scale study from UCLA and Australia's University of Adelaide finding participants who attended classes of Kundalini yoga and practiced 20 minutes of meditation every day showed bigger improvements in visual-spatial memory skills.

Whether you choose walking, dancing, or even gardening, two studies published earlier this year found that virtually any type of aerobic exercise can be beneficial for improving brain health, increasing brain volumes and helping reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's by 50 percent.

Going out, meeting friends or new people can help gain positive support and reliable relationships with partners, children, and family can help reduce the risk of developing dementia in seniors, whereas negative social support can increase it.

Doing something you love can help soothe the mind and be therapeutic. In a study, those who took part in artistic hobbies such as painting, drawing, and sculpting, were 73 percent less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment than those who didn't, whilst enjoying craft activities such as woodworking, pottery, ceramics, and sewing reduced the risk by 45 percent.

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