While some brain changes are inevitable as we age, there is a growing body of research to suggest that adopting healthy lifestyle behaviors, including healthy eating, exercising regularly, not smoking and staying cognitively engaged may help us age healthier and help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
Understanding the role healthy behaviors may play in reducing cognitive decline is a robust area of current dementia research. Researchers are working to determine what may be the optimal lifestyle “recipe” to reduce cognitive decline, but in the meantime there are steps we can take now to age well and help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
During June, the Alzheimer’s Association offers five tips to promote better brain health and help reduce the risk of cognitive decline: exercise regularly, maintain a heart-healthy diet, get proper sleep, stay socially and mentally active, and keep your heart healthy.
Incorporating these behaviors becomes especially important as we age, but they are good guidelines to follow at any age.
You can learn more about ways to reduce your risk of cognitive decline by making lifestyle changes at alz.org/dayton. The Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter offers free education programs and services for family members, friends and those living with the disease. For more information, call 937-291-3332 or the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.
Dr. Jon Durrani is a Neurologist with the Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders and supporter of the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter