Dementia and Alzheimer’s are horrible conditions we don’t want to think about when we’re young – but it’s the best time to make lifestyle changes that could impact your life as you grow older, according to recent news reports. As in-home caregivers serving those in Menlo Park and the entire Bay Area, we want to educate those in their 30’s about how what they do today can affect their later years.
A healthy brain is key to delaying the onset of, or even preventing, dementia. Keep the following in mind:
Eat a healthy diet that focuses on the health of your brain. Yes, brain food. This includes fish, whole grains, nuts, beans, healthy oils such as olive oil, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Not only are these foods great for brain health, but they’re great for heart health, too.
Oxygen and exercise are key to brain health. Exercising increases oxygen to the brain, and supplies your entire body with fresh blood. Whether you run, lift weights, walk, or do pilates or yoga, get your body moving for 30 minutes every day and you’ll protect thinking and memory skills by improving the health of brain cells, according to Harvard Medical School.
Meditation and sleep. Getting sufficient sleep is critical, according to researchers who claim it “trains” the brain and improves memory by shifting it into a more efficient space in the brain during sleep. Upon awakening, those who sleep well deal with less anxiety and stress, and can perform memory tasks quicker and more accurately.
A UCLA study on meditation found that those who practice meditation for 20 years improved their brains in every area, and lost less brain volume compared to those who did not meditate as they aged. Those who meditate actually help preserve brain function while calming the brain.
If you’re young, now is the time to focus on a healthy brain, to help stave off the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s symptoms when you’re older. Don’t wait until you’re 55 or 60, as it may be too late. As a trusted San Francisco in-home caregiving agency, we’ve seen our share of folks who suffer from these debilitating brain issues. Do all you can to avoid it!