While research shows that genetics play a role in determining our risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, it is also clear that many of our lifestyle choices influence this risk as well. Often, small lifestyle changes can make a big impact when it comes to reducing risk factors that become even more of a concern as we age.
Here are several areas where a little bit of effort and attention may increase your mind and body’s ability to remain healthy and well for many years to come.
Walking is incredibly beneficial for mental and physical fitness. Even walking for as little as 30 minutes a day has been proven to lower your risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and many other illnesses. If you don’t have 30 minutes to spare all at once, split up the activity into ten or fifteen minute increments. The benefits are the same, though the time commitment feels more manageable.
Monitor your weight on a regular basis and stay informed regarding the healthy range for your frame. Take steps to reach and maintain your healthiest weight to keep your risks for developing disease as low as possible.
Do you know what your normal blood pressure is? It can be another indicator of the general wellness of your mind and body. If your blood pressure is high, you may need to adjust your sodium intake through maintaining a modified diet. Make sure to read the labels on your food or eat more meals prepared fresh at home if possible to limit sodium. If necessary, speak with your doctor about medication to help maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
Blood Sugar Levels
If your blood sugar levels swing wildly, your body likely spends a lot of energy trying to compensate. Do all you can to keep your blood sugar levels steady through proper diet and exercise. If you are diabetic, follow your doctor’s advice and diligently take your medication to continue to maintain good health.
Other indicators of overall wellness may be found in cholesterol levels. Check yours regularly and limit foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol. Try to eliminate foods with trans fats, such as fried foods and packaged foods like cookies, crackers and chips. Exercise will also help keep your cholesterol levels in check.
Pay attention to your body’s signals and learn more about what it has to say about your overall wellness. Just a little bit of effort can go a long way to reducing your risk of developing diseases such as Alzheimer’s in the future.