A healthy brain, your 2019 New Year’s resolution

| December 31, 2018

Dementia Australia is inviting all Australians to make their brain health a priority in 2019 by incorporating a number of changes to lower their risk of dementia.

“A healthy brain starts with a healthy heart, being physically active, challenging your brain, being socially active and healthy eating,” said Dementia Australia CEO, Maree McCabe.

“Lifestyle factors have a significant impact on the health of the brain and making positive changes will benefit your whole body, including your brain.

“It is never too late for people to modify their lifestyle to lower their risk of dementia.”

Recent research shows that at least one in three cases of dementia could be prevented by adopting a healthier lifestyle[1].

Here are some of the changes you can add to your New Year’s resolutions for a brain-healthy 2018;

A change for your heart; Manage heart conditions such as high-blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. The risk of developing dementia increases with conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels.

A change for your body; Maintaining regular physical activity is associated with having better brain function and reduces your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. The National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend building up to at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days.

A change for your brain; Challenge your brain by engaging in mentally stimulating activities such as learning a new skill or hobby. Having your brain learn new things is key to building new brain cells. Healthy eating helps maintain brain health, but more research is needed to understand if specific foods could reduce the risk of dementia. We recommend following the National Dietary Guidelines.

A change to be social; Organise a visit to see friends and do the things you love. Social engagement has been found to have benefits for other health factors related to cognitive function and contributes to strengthening the brain, which may contribute to a lower dementia risk.

For more tips about brain health, and how to reduce your risk of dementia, visit www.yourbrainmatters.org.au.