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Brain-Healthy Lifestyle Can Help Reduce Risk For Cognitive Decline

Brain-Healthy lifestyle can help reduce risk for cognitive decline

While there is still no way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, research shows that key lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of cognitive decline. The Alzheimer’s Association® offers 10 Ways to Love Your Brain — tips that may reduce risk of cognitive decline.

  1. Break a sweat. Engage in regular cardiovascular exercise that elevates your heart rate and increases blood flow.
  2. Hit the books. Take a class at a local community college, community center or online.
  3. Butt out. Smoking increases risk of cognitive decline. Quitting can reduce risk to levels comparable to those who have not smoked.
  4. Follow your heart. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke — obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes — negatively impact your cognitive health.
  5. Heads up! Brain injury can raise risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Wear a seat belt and use a helmet when playing contact sports or riding a bike.
  6. Fuel up right. Eat a balanced diet that is higher in vegetables and fruit.
  7. Catch some Zzz’s. Not getting enough sleep may result in problems with memory and thinking.
  8. Take care of your mental health. Some studies link depression with cognitive decline, so seek medical treatment if you have depression, anxiety or stress.
  9. Buddy up. Staying socially engaged may support brain health. Get involved in your community or share activities with friends and family.
  10. Stump yourself. Challenge your mind. Build a piece of furniture. Play games of strategy, like bridge.

Visit alz.org/10ways to learn more about these tips, your brain, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s and other dementias.