It’s smart to think ahead if you want to lower your risk for illnesses that harm memory and thinking. While there are no guarantees, the Alzheimer’s Association and other sources offer the following suggestions. The more of these steps you take, the more your brain and body may benefit.
1. Adjust Your Eating Habits
A heart-healthy, balanced diet may also support your brain health. Try the Mediterranean diet, which limits unhealthy fats and processed foods and is rich in fruits and vegetables. It also includes whole grains, fish, legumes, and other lean proteins.
2. Keep Moving
Being physically active keeps blood flowing to the brain. It also reduces the risk for obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes — all of which are risk factors for dementia. Both aerobic exercise and enjoyable hobbies that get you moving count!
3. Be Socially Active
Connecting with others appears to promote good brain health and might even help delay the start of dementia. Try volunteering, participating in local events, and joining a walking or book club.
4. Stimulate Your Mind
Keeping your brain active and challenged may offer you benefits now and in the future. Read about new topics. Take a class online or in person. Learn to play an instrument. Try your hand at jigsaw puzzles, bridge, or other games that require strategic thinking.
5. Pursue Healthy Goals
By forming positive new habits, you can also boost your brain health. If you smoke, quit! Limit how much alcohol you drink. And get to and stay at a healthy weight.