How to live longer: Ways to lower your risk of dementia

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Surprisingly, the coronavirus didn’t feature in the top 10 leading causes of death in England for September 2020. Instead dementia topped the charts for the fifth year running. How can you reduce your chances of developing the condition?

Alzheimer’s Research UK ascertain there are steps we can take to lower our risk of the brain disease.

Risk factors include high blood pressure and stroke, so it’s important to reduce the chances of this occurring or recurring.

In order to do so, it’s paramount not to smoke – at all. If you don’t smoke, then you’re setting yourself up for better health.

If you’ve been thinking of giving up, do so; and if you’re not ready to give up smoking, your life is in danger – there’s no other way around it.

Moreover, evidence suggest smoking is directly related to increasing your risk of dementia.

You can call the free NHS Smokefree National Helpline on 0300 1213 1044 to get expert advice on quitting for good.

Alzheimer’s Research UK strongly believe that “it’s never too late to stop smoking”.

To help keep blood pressure under control, being physically active everyday is key.

This will help you to maintain a healthy weight, and will help keep cholesterol under control.

Other health benefits include reducing your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease – all conditions that can cut your life short.

Blood pressure can be “monitored at your doctor’s surgery or at some pharmacies”.

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If you exercise everyday, you’re most likely adding years onto your lifespan.

In addition to daily exercise, you’ll need to “eat a healthy balanced diet” and “drink fewer than 14 units of alcohol per week”.

The charity confirmed: “It’s never too late to make positive changes.”

However, keeping your hearty healthy in your forties and fifties “seems to be particularly important for helping to lower your risk of dementia”.

People between the ages of 40 to 74 in the UK are entitled to a free NHS Health Check.

This takes place every five years (if you don’t have cardiovascular disease).

For those aged 75 and above, you can still request a Health Check from your doctor.

“Research has linked staying mentally active to a lower risk of memory and thinking problems,” added the charity.

This can include activities such as reading, crossword, singing or playing an instrument.

As well as keeping mentally sharp, social interaction can also reduce your risk of dementia.

Social isolation isn’t good for your mental health, and it’s linked to a higher risk of the brain disease.

During this second lockdown, make sure to keep in contact with loved ones – walks outside together are still permitted, as are phone calls and messages.

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