Gary Lineker opens up about his dementia concerns
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From middle-age onwards, fears about developing dementia begin to take hold for many Britons. While the causes of dementia are multiple and complex, research is constantly uncovering more about the disease and how it could be prevented. Lifestyle changes can help to reduce your risk of dementia and delay cognitive decline; some of those changes can be as easy as picking up a crossword puzzle each day.
Almost a million Britons are living with dementia; a staggering one in six people over the age of 80 has the condition.
While many risk factors can’t be helped, dulcolax suppository dosage lifestyle choices can reduce your risk of developing the condition later in life.
Amongst risk factors for dementia including genes and age, the NHS also lists “lower levels of education.”
While proper evidential proof is not yet available, there seems to be a link between people who stay mentally active and challenge themselves regularly and lower incidences of dementia.
According to guidance from the Alzheimer’s Society, keeping your mind active is likely to reduce your risk of dementia.
Longer-term studies are currently being carried out in order to get more concrete evidence for the link between staying mentally active and dementia risk, but the outlook is promising.
The Alzheimer’s Society says: “Regularly challenging yourself mentally seems to build up the brain’s ability to cope with disease. One way to think about it is ‘Use it or lose it’.”
So, choosing a challenging activity to get the cogs of your imagination turning could help your brain stay younger.
It’s important to choose something you enjoy, so it doesn’t become a chore to keep it up and do it for a few minutes every day.
If you consider yourself a bit of a wordsmith and have good general knowledge, try doing a daily crossword puzzle.
Prefer to work with numbers? Try a sudoku instead.
Learning a new language could also stimulate your mind and challenge your intellect; if you go to classes it may also be an opportunity to socialise and meet new people.
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Attending quizzes is a great way to test your knowledge and flex your memory muscles, but if you like to frequent the local pub quiz, try to take it easy on the booze: excessive drinking can increase your risk of dementia.
Playing card games and board games is another way to exercise your mind, remembering rules and coming up with new strategies is tricky and fun.
Talking and communicating with your friends and family can also keep you active, and help fend off feelings of loneliness and depression which can increase your risk of developing dementia.
Staying mentally active is one thing, but it’s even more important to exercise your body.
Regular physical exercise is one of the best ways to reduce your risk, and will also slash your chances of developing heart disease.
If you don’t feel up to a strenuous gym session, walking, riding a bike or doing your gardening can all count towards your exercise goals.
A healthy diet is also very important for reducing your risk of dementia, the Mediterranean Diet is often recommended as it encourages you to eat plenty of natural whole foods, while avoiding deep-fried or overly processed choices.
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