February 21, 2024

10 Things I Do to Reduce My Risk of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a disease that I have no desire to discover. There is no cure, and the decline in brutal. While there are still many questions on how it’s caused, I’ve been reading materials from various credible organizations and listening to experts of what could cause it and how to reduce the risk of it. Some of these are simply good daily and life habits. In our day-to-day lifestyles, however, I don’t think we understand the long-term effects some of our behaviors cause. For a few years, I’ve been more cognizant of how to reduce my risk of Alzheimer’s as best I can for myself, and I wanted to share my efforts. This isn’t a guarantee that I’ll not get it, but I’m damn sure hoping it gives me a better chance. Let’s dive in to my ideas.

Pepper and I Doing Virtual Yoga

1. Regular Exercise

Working out and exercising has never bothered me. I don’t dread it, but I wouldn’t say I necessarily love it. What I do love is the feeling I get after I exercise, and that’s why I keep going back to it. When I was younger, I didn’t think of how to reduce my risk of Alzheimer’s, but I’m glad the exercise routine has served me well at this stage in life. Aerobic (walking like you’ve got somewhere to be) and strength and resistance training are two key types of exercise. A few walks per week can go a long way, no pun intended. My personal favorites are Pilates and yoga, sometimes with weights. I also walk everyday with my pooch, so I have that as my fallback if I can't do the others.

2. Put the Cigarette Out for Good

Yes, I smoked at one time in my life. During college, I thought I looked cool holding a massive drink in my hand and a cigarette in the other. I look back on those days and laugh, partially in amusement and partially with pity. There is not one single thing about smoking that benefits anyone. Now that I am 20 years past my last cigarette, I am so grateful that I didn’t continue the habit. I understand that smoking can be addictive, but by all means, if you’re looking for how to reduce my risk of Alzheimer’s, why not get the help to stop? It’s a reasonable trade-off to losing your brain functionality, I’d say. Put the cig out. It’s not worth it.

Eating Healthier to Lower Blood Pressure

3. Keeping My Blood Pressure in Check

When people find out I have high blood pressure, they gasp. They can hardly believe it because I'm on the thinner side and overall healthy. Believe it, folks. I didn’t inherit millions, I inherited high blood pressure. Thanks, mom and dad! What I have done in my efforts to understand how to reduce my risk of Alzheimer’s is to get it as under control naturally as I can. There was a time where I was on two medications, but I have made amendments to my life to be on one now. I started with eating healthier and exercising one more day per week. Since I’ve lowered my alcohol intake more recently, I believe it will get even better. Trial and error, my friends. That’s all I can do.

Swap Out the Chips Ahoy for Strawberries

4. Step Away from the Processed Sugar

I love sweets as much as the next person, but I refuse to let sugar run my life. If we thought smoking was addictive, I’m here to tell you that sugar is on the same level, if not worse. To keep myself in check, I try to make desserts at home, and not from a box. Of course I use sugar, but I have the option to use what type, and most things made at home from good ingredients are a healthier version, even if not considered healthy. Like chocolate chip cookies from scratch. For higher chances of how to reduce my risk of Alzheimer’s, go for some delicious farmers market strawberries or blueberries. You’ll get the fix that you need, and you won’t be a sugar crack head while you’re doing it.

5. Wordle, Connections, Sudoku, and Friends

Keeping your brain in an active state is important. Reading and learning new things makes for a great way of how to reduce my risk of Alzheimer’s. For me, book reading is part of my daily routine. I’m typically reading two books at a time: one in the morning, and one before bedtime. I also play some word games to keep the cobwebs off the brain. What’s better is doing those things with friends. Take a walk, start a book club, or play a game with your best buds. Make sure you involve other people in your life. Being social and exercising that noggin are going to help reduce your chances of getting Alzheimer’s. So simple! Find people you like and fun things to do with them and you’re set.

Sleep Like a Pepper Cat

6. Get Some Good ZZZs

Getting good sleep has been something that I have appreciated more and more as I’ve gotten older. Sleep is grossly underrated as far as an activity of how to reduce my risk of Alzheimer’s, much less its other benefits. So much good stuff happens during sleep, and if you don’t believe me, listen to this episode on Mel Robbins’ podcast with a sleep expert. It reaffirmed how I felt about sleep, and how I realize it is not in the least bit a waste of time. Think of it as a work day, and budget that good sleep into your 24 hour day. You’ll see massive benefits. I know I have.

My Newest Mocktail - Tonic Water, Lime Juice, and Muddled Strawberries

7. Snooze the Booze

I’m not telling you to get off the stuff altogether, but when I reduced my intake, so many good things happened. As mentioned above, I sleep like a rock. My energy level is also so much better. As a contributor to how to reduce my risk of Alzheimer’s, lessening my alcohol intake became imperative. It weighed on my mind for years, as it does for many people. When I finally took the plunge and gave it up for a month, I knew there was no going back to my previously scheduled programming. Alcohol would become more of an occasional treat that I controlled versus it being part of my daily routine. Sorry, Martin’s Wine Martin’s Wine, you won’t bee seeing me so much now.

Protecting My Head with a Helmet!

8. Protect Your Head

Not too many activities I do require me to be super aware of protecting my head, but when I read that it was part of how to reduce my risk of Alzheimer’s, I became more aware. When I ride my bike, my helmet always goes on. It always has, but in a city with wild drivers, I’m not taking any chances. We don’t ski but every few years, but for future ski trips I’ll be sure to rent a helmet. All the cool kids are doing it, so I hear. What do I care, though? I’m in the second half of my life. Giving a shit is for the first half, so cool or not, the helmet shall be worn.

9. Mental Health/Therapy

Keep yourself sane, friends. And I don’t mean just clinically. I come from a long line of pretty miserable humans. Early on, I knew I didn’t want to continue on that cycle, so I got myself into therapy. I’ve been attending ever since, on and off, and it’s fantastic to have an objective person weigh in on my behaviors. Learning how to reduce my risk of Alzheimer’s, this was one that I feel could be useful for every single person. I’m positive that if other people in my biological pool went to therapy, their lives would look much different. Alas, horses only drink when they want, and the water source is usually not crowded. To each his own.

Delicious Roasted Brussels Sprouts from the Farmers Market

10. What Goes into My Mouth

What I put into my mouth is a big deal for me. I’d like to think that each year I get a little wiser and more particular about how and what I eat. Why? I’m learning how to reduce my risk of Alzheimer’s and other nasty diseases that I DO NOT WANT if I can help it. Where we buy our food, how we prepare it…much of it is habit. I’ve chosen to primarily shop at the farmers market for as much as I can. Incorporating a mediterranean diet, which consists of things like fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, olive oil, and the occasional glass of wine is the goal. Don’t forget to enjoy this with friends for the added boost. Change your habits of what you eat and where you buy it, and you’ll be leaps and bounds better off than most people.

Your Future Self Will Thank You

These ten tips are not a guarantee that you or I will evade Alzheimer’s. I think we can all agree on that. However, as I see people around me who have parents with it or other loved ones, you bet your ass I’m doing anything I can to not be in that number. Simply taking care of that temple of a body I was given is the best way of exercising how to reduce my risk of Alzheimer’s. Why wouldn’t you take some more care of yourself so later on your future self can look back and say thank you? Pick one or two things you’re not currently doing and do them, for your future self. For the self that doesn’t want Alzheimer’s. What’ll it hurt?

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