“I intend to live the remainder of the years God gives me on this earth doing the things I have always done.” ~ Ronald Reagan
The Devastation of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is a devasting disease that robs the memory of those with it.
The Alzheimer’s Association defines Alzheimer’s as “a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms eventually grow severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.”
Though to date, there is currently no stopping Alzheimer’s (once someone is diagnosed with having Alzheimer’s), there is the ability to slow it and take preventative measures to reduce or eliminate the possibility of getting Alzheimer’s.
Below we will look at five ways to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. They include:
- Relational Connections
- Intellectual Stimulating Activities
- Regular Physical Activity
- Managing Blood Pressure
- Get Enough Sleep
Five Ways to Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
1. Relational Connections
Connections are paramount. Life revolves around relationships.
Relationships help us to form memories with others, experience the deep intimacy of life with friends and family, and help us to correlate certain epiphenomena (emotions based upon perceptual experiences).
A life without relationships is a travesty. We are humans. Part of being made as human beings is being relational beings.
Forming relationships and keeping in touch with those closest to us is essential.
The Alzheimer’s Association states, “A number of studies indicate that maintaining strong social connections and keeping mentally active as we age might lower the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s. Experts are not certain about the reason for this association. It may be due to direct mechanisms through which social and mental stimulation strengthen connections between nerve cells in the brain.”
Take time to build relationships and strengthen those synaptic connections that are associated with forming relationships within the brain.
2. Intellectual Stimulating Activities
The AARP states, “The GCBH came to consensus that stimulating your brain through various intellectual activities (e.g. practicing yoga, taking a photography class, gardening, learning a new language, volunteering, etc.) provides benefits for adults’ brain health and can impact how well your brain functions.”
Take time to play chess, do a jigsaw puzzle, play sudoku, read, play board games, and do other intellectual activities to stimulate your brain.
Just as when we don’t move, and our body is more susceptible to sickness, weakness, and complications, so is it when we are not stimulating our brain.
Find what appropriately stimulates your brain with certain intellectual activities. Do what you love and enjoy growing!
3. Regular Physical Activity
Taking time to move your body has many health benefits. The CDC even states that “Physical activity can improve your cognitive health—helping you think, learn, problem-solve, and enjoy an emotional balance.”
Alzheimer’s recommends getting “at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.”
4. Managing Blood Pressure
The National Institute on Aging states:
“Many types of studies show a connection between high blood pressure, cerebrovascular disease (a disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain), and dementia. For example, it’s common for people with Alzheimer’s-related changes in the brain to also have signs of vascular damage in the brain, autopsy studies show. In addition, observational studies have found that high blood pressure in middle age, along with other cerebrovascular risk factors such as diabetes and smoking, increase the risk of developing dementia.”
To help reduce blood pressure, consider the following:
- Lose extra pounds
- Eat a healthy diet
- Reduce salt (sodium) in your diet
- Limit alcohol
- Quit smoking
- Prioritize sleep
- Take time for regular checkups
5. Get Enough Good Sleep
Sleep is essential.
In his book Why We Sleep, Dr. Matthew Walker states on page 96 that “Any individual, no matter what age, will exhibit physical ailments, mental health instability, reduced alertness, and impaired memory if their sleep is chronically disrupted.”
We must prioritize getting 7-9 hours of sleep. If we do not, all other things will crumble and fade.
To understand how to get better sleep, check out Tiger’s articles on:
- How Is Sleep So Important To Mental Health?
- What Time Should I Go To Bed?
- Should You Take Naps?
- What Are The Benefits of REM Sleep?
Bonus! - A Balanced Diet
The Mayo Clinic suggests eating “a balanced diet — such as the Mediterranean diet — that’s rich in vegetables, fruits and lean protein, particularly protein sources containing omega-3 fatty acids.”
Prioritize meal preparation. Don’t just go for what is easy. Assess what is going into your body. For whatever we eat is either aiding or hindering.
What to Do Next to Help Prevent Alzheimer’s
The Alzheimer’s Association says that Alzheimer’s is “the destruction and death of nerve cells that causes memory failure, personality changes, problems carrying out daily activities and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.”
On page 157 of his book, Why We Sleep, Dr. Matthew Walker reveals that “One in ten adults over the age of sixty-five now suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.”
This disease is sweeping across the nation. It is essential to take the appropriate steps to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
For further reading, view our articles on:
- What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease?
- Is Alzheimer’s Genetic or Hereditary?
- How Is Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosed? What to Do If You Think You Have Alzheimer’s
You have what it takes inside you to make a definite choice that will change the future trajectory of your health.
Our team at Tiger Medical Institute has the experience, clinical skills, and coaching insight to help you get your health and energy back.
To talk to one of our professionals, click here to schedule your call!