Age Matters Clinic


Toronto Geriatric Assessment and Memory Clinic

Healthier Choices Help Prevent Alzheimer's

Elderly woman stretching

It's easy to make poor lifestyle choices. Everywhere you go there is fast food, cook from frozen dinners, candy bar aisles, and expensive gym memberships. The reality of our society is that making healthy choices is far more difficult - and far less convenient. However, not eating well and avoiding exercise doesn't just affect your health can also lead to serious diseases later on in life. For instance, did you know that poor lifestyle choices might increase your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease? Thankfully, you may be able to prevent the disease by making a few changes.

How? Start by taking a look at your diet. Your diet is just one of the ways that you can prevent developing Alzheimer's disease in later life. Think of it this way: your body needs proper nutrients in order to work well. It also requires a diet that is rich in foods that promote brain health. That is why the Mediterranean diet is thought to prevent the disease, as well as slow down the progression. This diet is typically rich in fish, nuts, olive oil, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition to the Mediterranean diet, it is equally important to think about reducing your trans and saturated fats and getting lots of omega-3 fats in your diet. You may also want to consider your vitamin intake. It is believed that daily supplements that include vitamin D, folic acid, vitamin B12, fish oil, and magnesium can help to improve your brain health - and therefore help prevent Alzheimer's.

In addition to changing your diet, including more exercise in your daily routine is also necessary. If you think this step isn't important, think again! According to research done by the Alzheimer's Research & Prevention Foundation, regular exercise can actually reduce the risk of developing the disease by up to 50 percent. Clearly, breaking a sweat can make a huge difference. So, how often should you work out? Try to get around 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week. The type of activity that you do is totally your call. Whether you want to go running, swimming or for a walk around the block, the key is to get your heart rate going. To maintain your brain health, you may also want to give weight training a try. Adding this into your routine 2 times a week is believed to reduce your risk of developing the disease by half.

Other healthy choices that can help you prevent Alzheimer's disease? Make sure that you get a full night of sleep, learn how to deal with stress through relaxing breathing techniques and enjoyable hobbies, get out there and be social, and find ways to stimulate your brain. All of these can improve your overall health and help to prevent the development of Alzheimer's disease in later life.

Are your ready to make a change in your life? Then start by taking care of your mind and body. Doing so can give you more energy, improved focus, and may even be able to prevent the development of serious brain diseases, like Alzheimer's.