Steps You Can Take
Studies have shown that frequent, brisk walks may slow memory loss and the development of the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, in addition to being a great way to stay in shape at any age.
Take the #TurningPointPledge to commit to walking for a minimum of 45 minutes at least 3 times a week. Invite your neighbors and friends to join you!
Healthy Lifestyle Actions You Can Take Right Now
We can’t change some of the important risk factors such as age or our genes, but other important Alzheimer's risks can be modified by our behavior. A great deal of research has already gone into figuring out the most important preventive steps to take, and much more will be done in the future.
Many researchers are participating in this exciting work aimed at preventing or slowing Alzheimer’s through modifiable lifestyle factors. We have a snapshot of current opinion and evidence regarding preventive measures that we all can take, which are summarized below:
- Eat a varied, nutritious, and low-glycemic diet. Include foods that contain vitamins C, D, and E, omega-3 fats, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. As can happen with diabetes, researchers suggest that production of higher levels of insulin and blood sugar may harm the brain and contribute to the progression of Alzheimer's.
- Get regular exercise and maintain a healthy weight. This will improve not only your immune system and blood pressure, but your brain and eye health. Being obese can increase inflammation in your body and increase your risk of developing other diseases.
- Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at normal levels. Having a cardiovascular disease could contribute to the progression of Alzheimer's
- Don't smoke. Toxins found in first-, second-, and third-hand smoke have been linked to an increased risk for developing a number of diseases.
- Get enough good quality sleep, as recommended for your age group. Researchers have shown some association between poor sleep and an increased risk for mild cognitive/memory issues.
- Reduce stress.
- Maintain regular check-ups with healthcare practitioners—Take all medications, as prescribed. Have one pharmacy or doctor confirm that the drugs you receive from different sources have no risks for interactions or interference from non-prescription drugs or herbal supplements.
- Keep your mind active. While the debate continues over whether cognitive exercises will help lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease, keeping your mind nimble will enhance your overall well-being. You can also check out these memory games.
- Keep an active social life and strive to widen your social network. Studies have shown that having a large social network may lower the risk of developing dementia. Volunteering for nonprofit organizations with missions that are important to you is one way to expand your circle of friends and acquaintances.
- Keep yourself informed. Learn about recent advances in research on preventive activities and treatments for your condition, for instance through the services and news alerts provided to you by the BrightFocus Foundation.
- Decreasing Your Risk of Alzheimer’s (Article)
- Alzheimer’s Disease Toolkit (Helpful Information to Understand and Manage Alzheimer's Disease)