Britain has an aging population, with more than 10 million people, a significant portion of our population of 70 million, over the age of 65. This poses serious consequences for public services, notably health care. One issue that is of particular concern is the increasing number of people suffering from dementia, a serious condition that requires a great deal of support and care.
There are numerous causes of dementia, some unavoidable, but there are many things that you can do throughout your lifetime to significantly reduce your risk of suffering in your old age. There is increasing evidence that a person’s lifestyle influences how at risk they are, so follow these three simple lifestyle changes to lower your risk.
Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet throughout your lifetime will really lower your risk of developing dementia in your later years. A good diet is essential for a happy and healthy life anyway, but if a reduced likelihood of suffering from this terrible disease is enough to spur you on to making healthier food choices, then now is the time to change your bad habits.
Cut back on the fatty, processed fast foods. We’re not saying you can’t enjoy a greasy takeaway once in a while, but don’t live off them. Incorporate plenty of whole foods and fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet. The NSH website has some great basic advice on what constitutes a healthy diet.
Research from 2010 shows that if you smoke, your risk of dementia is significantly higher than it is for non-smokers. There are numerous other reasons to quit smoking aside from the increased risks of dementia, so we’d strongly recommend that you do so if you want to lead a longer and healthier life. Quitting cold turkey is difficult, but cessation aids such as Nicorette patches or YouCig e cigs can be very helpful in weaning you off tobacco. If you can manage to quit without help, then better still.
Exercising regularly and keeping your mind active by trying new things will help you to stay sharp and alert well into your old age. Slipping into a sedentary lifestyle of inactivity and routine is generally quite dull anyway, so why not make a change for the better?
You should exercise daily, even something as simple as a brisk walk around the park can help, but why not challenge yourself a little and see if you can’t turn that brisk walk into a run? Also, consider trying new things that’ll test your mental capabilities, such as learning a new language or a musical instrument. Checkout the absolute beginners guide to exercise from WebMD if you’re at a loss as to where to start.
By following these simple guidelines not only will you greatly reduce the odds of you suffering from dementia in later life, but you’ll also lead a much healthier and happier life too. It makes sense to be healthy.