Dementia: ‘Brain exercises’ can reduce the risk of brain decline – activities to try

Dementia Australia explained: “Keeping the brain active is thought to build reserves of healthy brain cells and connections between them.” These reserves of brain cells are thought to delay the onset of dementia. Brain exercises involve “new learning”, such as reading or listening to the radio. Other ways to stimulate the brain is to take a course, visit a museum, or learn a new language.

Other brain exercises include:

  • Playing musical instruments
  • Artistic and other hobbies
  • Participation in leisure activities such as sports, hobbies, dancing,
  • gardening, groups, cultural activities and conversation
  • Board games
  • Crosswords
  • Sudoku and other puzzles.

Research is still ongoing as to whether brain training games and computer programmes can reduce the risk of dementia, said the charity.

Even for those who have developed dementia already, brain exercises have been shown to slow down the rate of cognitive decline.

Am I at risk of developing dementia?

Dementia UK listed modifiable risk factors for developing dementia, which means you have the power to modify your chance of developing the brain disease.

READ MORE: Dementia: The ‘single most important’ food to reduce your risk of brain decline

Furthermore, everybody is encouraged to go a few days, every week, without drinking.

To gain the most health benefits, it would be helpful to become teetotal.

When it comes to exercise, this is considered the holy grail when it comes to managing health conditions.

For instance, plenty of exercise can help to control high blood pressure, prevent obesity, and improve physical health.

Dementia UK added it would be beneficial to attend regular health check-ups at the doctor’s clinic.

“If you have a long-term condition like diabetes or thyroid problems, it’s important to keep it well managed,” the charity added.

Regular health check-ups can keep track of your blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol levels.

If needs be, your doctor may prescribe you medication which will help to manage any underlying health conditions.

While in the doctor’s practice, you can seek support with quitting smoking (if applicable).

Alzheimer’s Research UK pointed out that smokers were 40 percent more likely to develop the brain disease compared to non-smokers.

Symptoms of dementia

The NHS pointed out the “early symptoms of dementia”, such as:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks, such as getting confused over the correct change when shopping
  • Struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
  • Being confused about time and place
  • Mood changes.

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