Reducing your risk factors for health problems associated with Alzheimer’s disease is a good first step for lowering your risk. Especially important: Lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight to prevent heart disease, diabetes and stroke. And while there are no guarantees, adopting these three strategies may also keep your mind sharp.
Exercise. What’s good for your heart is also good for your head, says Heather Snyder, senior associate director of medical and scientific relations for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet to keep your brain healthy. Some research has found that the Mediterranean Diet may lower Alzheimer’s risk. The diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables, legumes, cereals, fish and olive oil and calls for low amounts of red meat and dairy as well as moderate consumption of wine. For details on eating the Mediterranean way, visit www.oldwayspt.org/mediterraneandiet
Challenge your mind. Engage in lifelong learning and remain socially connected, advises Snyder. That means regularly participating in activities like doing crossword puzzles, reading or playing cards—even dancing. And make it a point to socialize with friends and family.