Fight Cognitive Decline with These Brain-Healthy Tips

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Fight Cognitive Decline with These Brain-Healthy Tips

Published by Dr. Alden Clendenin

Many of our clients coming to us for physical therapy in the Chicago Loop often ask about ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. This is an important topic to keep close to mind; currently, an estimated 5.7 million Americans suffer from the disease, and someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds.

Sadly, we don’t know the cause of Alzheimer’s, nor is there a cure, but individuals may be able to reduce their likelihood of developing the disease. Here are five brain-healthy tips.

  • Exercise – Numerous studies have found that regular physical exercise helps prevent the development of Alzheimer’s or slow its progression in those who have symptoms. At a minimum, aim for 30 minutes of moderately vigorous physical exercise three to four days per week.
  • Avoid head injuries – Brain injury increases your risk of cognitive decline, so when biking or engaging in other contact sports or balance-related activities, always wear a helmet.
  • Eat a Mediterranean diet – This diet can help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. It includes fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, legumes, fish, and moderate amounts of eggs and dairy. Also, consume red meat sparingly.
  • Get enough sleep – Getting seven to eight hours sleep per night is linked to clearing your brain of corrupted amyloid protein cells that lead to loss of memory and thought in Alzheimer’s patients.
  • Take care of your heart ­– Evidence shows that factors contributing to cardiovascular disease – obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes – also negatively affect your cognitive health. When you take care of your heart, you’re also taking care of your brain.

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For physical therapy in the Chicago loop or help with other health-related matters, contact Sports Injury Centers today to schedule your initial consultation.

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