Ideal Activities to Help Prevent Dementia
by Jane Sandwood
Leading an active lifestyle is a great way to keep fit, healthy and our brains working well. It’s also a proven way to help delay and even prevent the onset of dementia. While further research and plenty of testing into finding a cure is ongoing, it’s going to take time. So, rather than waiting for the illness to strike, a much better – and more enjoyable – plan, is to get active to prevent being affected by the debilitating disease.
There are a number of ways to help stave off the disease, including activities where you can enjoy the outdoors and fresh air. And, the two most important ways to help defend yourself from dementia are:
Eating a healthy diet
One that’s high in fresh fruit and vegetables, the right oils and omega fatty acids and low in processed carbohydrates like white bread, rice and pasta. Cut down on sugar, drink tea – around 2-4 cups a day – and try to eat more home-cooked food that doesn’t contain additional preservatives or too much salt.
Exercise challenges our bodies and the co-ordination required helps to maintain the well-worn paths our brain uses to communicate to our limbs exactly what we want them to do. And, if you try a new exercise or activity – adventure golf, bowling or even footgolf – your brain works to build new paths, which is great for dementia prevention. But, take care not to exercise so strenuously that you could damage your body. Brisk walking and swimming both count as exercise too and if you can do that a few times a week, it will quickly become regular exercise.
If you choose to do just two things to help stay fit and healthy in your mind and body, then these are the two you should attempt. Even if you can’t manage a brisk walk at first, just walking a few times a week is a start. Find an outdoor spot you like and is easy to get to and you’re sure to get into the habit of regular walks, allowing you to increase the distance over time. In order to achieve a brisker pace, find a route with a good section of flat and push yourself to walk faster on that part. Over time – and less time than you might think – your fitness will improve, as will the distances you can comfortably walk and the speed you walk too.
The thought of dementia can be scary, but by undertaking some simple, everyday activities, you can work to prevent the condition or limit its effects. To discover more about how to prevent dementia read this guide for some helpful and fun ideas.