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From getting off the bus one stop early to ‘dad dancing’ and playing chess: 40 simple lifestyle tips to keep your brain healthy, according to experts

  • Alzheimer’s Research UK compiled a list of 40 different ‘small positive changes’ 
  • Learning new skills including baking can help ward off dementia in old age
  • Just 2 per cent of UK adults take good care of their brains, data has revealed
  • There are an estimated 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK today 

If you ever need an excuse to bust out your bad dance moves, look no further. 

For researchers claim it’s just one of 40 simple ways to keep your brain healthy. 

Playing chess, getting off your bus one stop early and reading a book are three other ways of staying sharp in old age. 

Scientists say looking after your brain may help reduce the risk of dementia later in life.

Alzheimer’s Research UK has compiled the list of 40 different ‘small positive changes that you enjoy and can build upon’ to keep your brain healthy

Learning a language, ciprofloxacina plm hosting a coffee morning and getting a hearing check are three ways of staying sharp in old age, according to researchers

Alzheimer’s Research UK compiled the list of 40 different ‘small positive changes that you enjoy and can build upon’.

A survey commissioned by the charity revealed today that just 2 per cent of Britons are doing everything they can to keep their brains healthy and slash their chances of dementia. 

Each lifestyle tweak follows ‘three simple rules’ — loving your heart, staying sharp and keeping connected. 

Learning to bake, knit and sew, dig into gardening, taking up a new language and making new plans with old friends are among the 40 ideas.

Others are to swap deep fried for stir fried, your cocktail for a mocktail and walk in the park all year round. 

Giving up cigarettes was also crucial, experts said, as they advised people to download the NHS Quit Smoking app. 

The team also recommend arranging regular hearing checks to help drive early detection of dementia, as hearing aids could reduce the progression of mild cognitive impairment to dementia. 

Data suggests hundreds of thousands of dementia cases could be stopped if people took more steps to prevent it.

Overall, experts say eliminating 12 lifestyle factors would prevent 40 per cent of cases.   

These include smoking, hearing impairment, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, diabetes, and infrequent social contact.

It has launched an online survey for people to see how they score on the modifiable risk factors, and what they can do now to boost their chances of avoiding it in future.

The Alzheimer’s Society estimates there are more than 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK today. This is projected to rise to 1.6million by 2040.  

Dementia itself is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders (those affecting the brain) which impact memory, thinking and behaviour. 

Data suggests hundreds of thousands of dementia cases could be stopped if people took more steps to prevent it. Alzheimer’s Research UK say that overall, eliminating 12 lifestyle factors would prevent 40 per cent of cases

The Alzheimer’s Society also estimates there are more than 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK today. This is projected to rise to 1.6million by 2040

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and is estimated to contribute to 60 to 70 per cent of all dementia cases, according to the World Health Organization. 

In the US, around 5.5million are thought to be living with Alzheimer’s. 

Professor Jonathan Schott, chief medical officer for Alzheimer’s Research UK, said the disease had become people’s ‘biggest fear’ over ageing.

He said: ‘Dementia is now the most feared consequence of ageing and so people are wanting to know what they do about their risk.

‘People are coming to us, people are going off and getting their genetics done, which of course they can’t change, and then asking about what they can do about modifying risk.

‘The fact that many of the risk factors that were mentioning – blood pressure, smoking and so forth are risk factors for cardiovascular disease and cancer, we can harness this as part of the public health message.’

Alzheimer’s Research UK’s 40 simple tips for better brain health

 1. Dance a little everyday 

 2. Call up friends you can’t call in on 

 3. Puzzle yourself with the paper

 4. Learn to cook something new

5. Start getting off your bus one stop early 

 6. Learn an instrument

 7. Clean it like you mean it 

 8. Take up a hobby and join a club 

 9. Play cards and learn chess

 10. Take the stairs instead of the lift

 11. Learn a new language

 12. Download the NHS Quit Smoking app

 13. Host a coffee morning 

 14. Make new plans with old friends

 15. Reduce your sugar intake 

 16. Join a sports team 

 17. Stop for chats 

 18. Get into books 

19.  Swap deep fried for stir fried

 20. Get your hearing checked 

21.  Enjoy a virtual pub quiz

 22. Swap your cocktail for a mocktail

 23. Go for walks 

 24. Start sketching 

 25. Make small healthy food swaps 

 26. Invite your neighbour over for a chat

27.  Turn your daily stroll into a stride 

28.  Learn to bake 

 29. Watch a match with your mates

 30. Walk round the park all year round

 31. Start volunteering 

 32. Keep in touch over a virtual lunch

 33. Stretch your body

 34. Learn to knit, stitch and sew

 35. Dig into gardening 

 36. Write and send a letter 

 37. Don’t be shy, say hi 

 38. Refresh your regular walking route

 39. Host a birthday party

 40. Embrace DIY

 

According to a YouGov survey released today and commissioned by Alzheimer’s Research UK, just one in 50 people are doing everything they can to ward off dementia and look after their brain health 

Global dementia cases are set to nearly triple by 2050, from 57.4million to 152.8million, according to a 2021 study by the University of Washington School of Medicine. But the rate the illness is expected to increase varies between different parts of the world. In Western Europe, cases are expected to rise by just 75 per cent, mainly due to an ageing population, while they are expected to double in North America. The biggest increase is expected to be seen in North Africa and the Middle East, where cases are projected to rise by 375 per cent

There is currently no cure for dementia but drugs are available which can slow its progression.

Research has long shown exercise in middle age and beyond can cut the chance of dementia — which is most commonly caused by Alzheimer’s — by up to 40 per cent.

Exercise is thought to help stave off the disease because it improves cognitive function, keeps bodyweight low and prevents plaque forming in the arteries — a key cause of vascular dementia. 

Doctors recommend healthy adults get at least 150 of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. 

An array of studies have also linked keeping up reading, writing and playing games with delaying the cruel condition’s onset by up to five years, simply by keeping the brain healthy.

WHAT IS DEMENTIA?

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological disorders

A GLOBAL CONCERN 

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders (those affecting the brain) which impact memory, thinking and behaviour. 

There are many types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.

Some people may have a combination of different types of dementia.

Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person will experience dementia in their own unique way.

Dementia is a global concern but it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live into very old age.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED?

The Alzheimer’s Society reports there are more than 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK today. This is projected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting between 50 and 75 per cent of those diagnosed.

In the US, it’s estimated there are 5.5 million Alzheimer’s sufferers. A similar percentage rise is expected in the coming years.

As a person’s age increases, so does the risk of them developing dementia.

Rates of diagnosis are improving but many people with dementia are thought to still be undiagnosed.

IS THERE A CURE?

Currently there is no cure for dementia.

But new drugs can slow down its progression and the earlier it is spotted, the more effective treatments can be.

Source: Alzheimer’s Society 

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