• Get plenty of exercise
• Eat a brain-healthy diet
• Keep your mind active
• Sleep regularly and restfully
• Learn to relax
• Protect your brain
You can download the complete plan from HELPGUIDE.org but here's strategy no. 6:
Prevention and delay strategy #6: Protect your brain
- Avoid toxins - Among the most preventable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease are smoking and heavy drinking. Not only does smoking increase the odds for those over 65 by nearly 79%, researchers at Miami’s Mt. Sinai Medical Center warn that a combination of these two behaviors reduces the age of Alzheimer’s onset by six to seven years. If you stop smoking at age, the brain benefits from improved circulation almost immediately. Brain changes from alcohol abuse can only be reversed early.
- Wear a helmet - and limit distractions. A National Institute of Health study suggests head trauma at any point in life significantly increases your risk of Alzheimer’s. Dr. Andrew Weil cautions that repeated hits in sports activities including football, soccer, and boxing, or single traumatic injuries from bicycle, skating, or motorcycle accidents make Alzheimer’s disease more likely in later life. Preserve your brain by wearing properly fitting sports helmets, buckling your seatbelt, and trip-proofing your environment. Avoid activities that compete for your attention—like driving with cell phones and running with your MP3 player. A moment’s distraction can lead to a brain-injuring thud!
- Create a brain-safe environment - The evidence on modern technology is mixed. Scientists continue to examine links between neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and exposure to environmental contaminants. UCLA’s Memory Center Director Gary Small warns that lead, pesticides, mold, and other substances in your environment may damage your brain. Studies on the impact of electromagnetic energy from cell phones are still debated. Although definitive links to Alzheimer’s can be elusive, making choices that limit chronic exposure to environmental harm makes good sense.
Act now to prevent and delay Alzheimer’s disease
It is never too early or too late to protect yourself and your family against Alzheimer’s. Start a multi-step strategy now, and begin actively preventing or slowing this disease.The race to cure Alzheimer’s is expected to continue for some time. Investing in your diet, exercise, mental stimulation, and rest will help you feel better now and keep your brain working stronger…longer.