Are you finding yourself forgetting where you have put your keys, or conversations that you may have had with a friend the day before? It is normal to forget the odd thing here and there, in these busy times in which we live but an increasing frequency of this may be a sign that your memory could be in need of support. Whether it is your own memory that may be failing, or that of a family member, a little knowledge can go a long way in addressing this in the best way possible.
Cases of dementia and Alzheimers are becoming increasingly common and may have quite an impact on the sufferers quality of life, as well the stress felt by the surrounding family members. Introducing a few key measures into your daily life as well as taking the appropriate supplements can be very valuable in supporting a healthy memory both today and in the years to come.
According to the results of a new study, seniors might be able to safeguard their memories by adopting a healthier lifestyle.
Researchers from Finland found that seniors who ate a healthy diet and exercised performed better on memory and problem-solving tests than those who did not, suggesting that dementia is a condition that we may have the potential to prevent.
The study included 1,260 people aged from 60 to 77 at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Half the group received nutritional guidance along with an exercise program, brain training activities, socialization and management of heart health risk factors. The control group was only given standard health advice.
After two years, the group that underwent lifestyle changes performed better on problem-solving exercises, memory tests and quizzes.
The study findings, which suggest that exercising the brain is as important as exercising the body, were presented over the summer at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
“This is the first study to definitively show that changing your lifestyle will reduce your risk for cognitive decline,” Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association told HealthDay. “I don’t think you can say the risk goes away altogether. As people age, they will have some decline in their cognitive abilities. That’s just a part of aging,” Fargo said. “But try to maintain healthy activities, a healthy lifestyle, in middle age and later, and that’s going to help reduce your risk for cognitive decline.” (Ref. 1)
Tips to keep your mind sharp
The experts at the Mayo Clinic agree that healthy living – although not a guarantee – is a good place to start when it comes to preventing the onset of dementia.
Keep your mind active.Mentally stimulating activities, such as puzzles and word games, and memory training may delay the onset of dementia and help decrease its effects.
Be physically and socially active. Physical activity and social interaction may delay the onset of dementia and reduce its symptoms.
Take some classes. Studies have shown that those who pursue formal education have less mental decline than those who don’t, suggesting that learning helps the brain develop a strong network of nerve cells that protect against the cognitive decline.
Eat right. Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish (or our high-quality fish oil supplements has been shown in studies to support brain health and function, which may lower the risk of cognitive decline. Omega-3s are especially important for brain health, experts say. (Ref. 2)
Maintain healthy blood pressure.High blood pressure damages blood vessels and arteries, blocking blood flow including to the brain, which links it to dementia. (Ref. 3)