Alzheimer’s Association gives 10 healthy brain habits


DAYTON — Currently, two-thirds of Americans have at least one major risk factor for dementia. Science shows that modifying risk factors and promoting healthy behaviors can reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia – in fact, scientists estimate that up to 40% of dementia cases worldwide could be prevented by a change in habits.

The Alzheimer’s Association is offering “10 Healthy Habits for Your Brain,” simple everyday actions people can take to reduce their dementia risk.

• Challenge Your Mind. Be curious. Put the brain to work and do something new. Challenging the mind may have short- and long-term brain benefits.

• Stay in School. Education reduces the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Encourage youth to stay in school and pursue the highest level of training possible. Continue your own education by taking a class at a library, school or online.

• Get Moving. Engage in regular exercise and activities that raise your heart rate and increase blood flow to the brain and body.

• Protect Your Head. Help prevent a head injury. Wear a helmet, a seatbelt and be careful of falls.

Be Smoke-Free. Quitting smoking can lower the risk of cognitive decline back to levels similar to those who have not smoked. It’s never too late to stop.

Control Your Blood Pressure. Medication, eating right and engaging in physical activity can lower blood pressure.

Manage Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented or controlled by healthy eating, increased physical activity and medication.

Eat Right. Healthy eating can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Focus on vegetables and lean proteins, avoiding processed and high-fat foods.

Maintain a Healthy Weight. Talk to your doctor about your ideal body weight. Following these healthy habits and getting adequate sleep can help you maintain a healthy weight.

• Sleep Well. Good quality sleep is important for brain health. Turn off all screens before bed to minimize disruptions. Address any sleep-related problems like sleep apnea.

“Research confirms what we have suspected for some time – people can lower their chances of cognitive decline with healthy habits,” said Dayna Ritchey, program director for the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Cincinnati and Miami Valley Chapters. “Adopting as many of these 10 everyday actions as possible can decrease dementia risk. This is true even for people who have a history of dementia in their families. It’s never too late or too early to take charge of your brain health.”

There are 220,000 Ohioans older than 65 living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association 2023 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures. That number is expected to hit 250,000 by 2025. A total of 493,000 Ohio caregivers provide 736 million hours of unpaid care each year.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s or other dementia and to access free support and resources, visit or call the Miami Valley Chapter at 937-291-3332 or the 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.

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