It’s Alzheimer’s/Brain Awareness Month
Worldwide, 50 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. An estimated 5.8 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s in 2019.
June is a month designated to bring awareness to Alzheimer’s.
One way to accomplish this goal is to “go purple.” Whether you wear a purple shirt or cap, or display a poster with purple script or choose to “go purple” in another manner, it helps!
The more people know about Alzheimer’s, the more likely we take another step closer to finding a cure.
‘Love Your Brain’
Growing evidence indicates that people may reduce their risk of cognitive decline by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. The Alzheimer’s Association even produced a list of 10 ways to “Love Your Brain”:
• Break a sweat – Engage in regular cardiovascular exercise. This elevates your heart rate and increases blood flow to the brain and body.
• Hit the books – Formal education in any stage of life will help reduce risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Educational opportunities may exist at a local school or college, or even online.
• Butt out – Some studies show that smoking increases the risk of cognitive decline. This is another good reason to quit smoking.
• Follow your heart – Evidence shows that risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes also may negatively impact your cognitive health. Take care of your heart, and your brain just might follow.
• Heads up – Brain injury can raise your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Take steps to prevent falls. Remember to wear seat belts in your car. Use a helmet while riding a bike or playing contact sports.
• Fuel up right – Eat a healthy and balanced diet that is lower in fat and higher in vegetables and fruit to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
• Catch some Zzz’s – Lack of sleep due to conditions such as insomnia or sleep apnea might result in problems with memory and thinking.
• Take care of your mental health – Some studies have linked a history of depression with increased risk of cognitive decline. Manage stress and seek medical treatment if you have symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns.
• Buddy up – Staying socially engaged may support brain health. Pursue social activities that are meaningful and enjoyable to you.
• Stump yourself – Challenge and activate your mind whether you’re completing a jigsaw puzzle, doing something artistic or playing games that make you think strategically. Challenging your mind may have short- and long-term benefits for your brain.