One of the worst parts about aging is discovering that you or a loved one is getting dementia. The memory loss takes away a lot of the quality of life that people expect to enjoy late into one’s life.
It may seem like getting dementia is simply a matter of a roll of the dice. You either get it or you don’t. Some are genetically predisposed to getting it but really, anybody can and might. The reality is that it isn’t a given then you will get it even if you have the DNA markers for it.
There are things that you can do while you are young to help prevent dementia or at least lower your risk of getting it when you get old. In this article, I will go over several of the things you can do to make sure you are not at high risk of getting dementia.
1 - Get some Vitamin D
You can take supplements or spend some time out in the sun, but it’s important that you get enough of this vitamin to keep your brain in good shape. There has been some research done that suggests that people with low Vitamin D or even a deficiency in the disease are at a higher risk of developing dementia.
Though the role of Vitamin D and the brain is unclear it seems that there is a link so it makes sense to get it when you can.
One thing that is for certain is that one of the benefits of Vitamin D is that it improves your mood. If you are out and active and getting a healthy dose of sunshine you feel better and have low levels of cortisol in your system. Which in turn helps keep your brain active and alert which can help ward off dementia in your older years.
2 - Keep learning
Your mind is a muscle so it takes exercise to make sure it stays in peak form. Lifelong learners are far less susceptible to getting dementia than those that stop using their brain as they age.
Make sure to use every opportunity to learn something new no matter how old you are. Take some classes on a subject that interests you. Or take up a hobby that requires skills that need to be acquired that you’re never done before.
These exercises will keep you sharp well into your retirement and may even keep you from getting dementia.
3 - Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Smoking, drinking in excess and eating unhealthy foods are all contributors to a decrease in quality of life as you age. This unhealthy lifestyle can contribute to getting dementia so it pays off to stay healthy.
Be active physically by playing a sport or going on frequent walks. If you smoke then make an effort to quit as soon as possible. Drink on occasion but don’t overdo it. And lastly, eat a lot of vegetables and avoid processed foods.