10 Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and Improve Brain Health

Alzheimer’s disease is a life-changing condition that affects millions worldwide. While there’s currently no cure, research suggests that certain lifestyle changes may help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairments. By incorporating these habits into your daily routine, you can potentially safeguard your cognitive health and promote overall well-being.

Stay Physically Active:

Physical activity is the most important part of healthy aging, and regular exercise is not just good for your body; it’s also beneficial for your brain. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, such as brisk walking, swimming, or cycling. Exercise promotes blood flow to the brain, reduces inflammation, and promotes the release of chemicals that support brain health.

Woman exercising

Follow a Balanced Diet:

A nutritious diet is vital for brain health. Focus on consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Foods rich in antioxidants, such as berries, leafy greens, and nuts, can help protect brain cells from damage. Limit your intake of processed foods, sugary snacks, and saturated fats, which may increase the risk of cognitive decline.

Maintain a Healthy Weight:

Being overweight or obese in midlife has been linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Strive to maintain a healthy weight through a combination of regular exercise and a balanced diet. Consult with your doctor to determine a weight management plan that’s right for you.

Monitor and Manage Chronic Conditions:

Up to 80% of individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease also have cardiovascular disease, including chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. Work with your healthcare provider to monitor and manage these conditions through appropriate medication, lifestyle modifications, and regular check-ups.

Doctor and patient looking at iPad

Keep Your Brain Active:

Keep your brain active and engaged by challenging it with new activities. Read books, solve puzzles, learn a musical instrument, or take up a new hobby. Engaging in mentally stimulating activities can help build cognitive reserve, which may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Man using iPad

Prioritize Quality Sleep:

Good sleep is essential for cognitive function and overall health. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine, create a comfortable sleep environment, and avoid stimulants like caffeine and electronic devices before bedtime.

Manage Stress:

Chronic stress can take a toll on both your physical and mental health, potentially increasing the risk of cognitive decline. Practice stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or journaling. Be sure to engage in hobbies and activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Stay Socially Connected:

Maintaining strong social connections is key for brain health. Engage in regular social activities with friends, family, and community groups. Join clubs, volunteer, or participate in group classes or events. Social interaction helps stimulate the brain, ward off feelings of loneliness and depression, and may reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Protect Your Head

Head injuries, especially repeated concussions, have been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Take steps to protect your head during recreational activities, and work to “fall-proof” your home by minimizing clutter, loose rugs, and ensure adequate lighting. Don’t forget to wear appropriate safety gear such as helmets when cycling and always be sure to put on your seatbelt any time you are in a vehicle.

Stay Mentally and Emotionally Resilient:

Building resilience to life’s challenges can help protect your brain against the negative effects of stress and adversity. Cultivate a positive outlook, practice self-care, and seek support from loved ones or mental health professionals when needed. Developing coping skills and helpful strategies can help you navigate life’s ups and downs with ease.

By incorporating these strategies into your daily life, you can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, enhance your cognitive health, and enjoy a vibrant and active lifestyle as you age. Start with small, manageable changes and gradually progress to more in depth routines as you become more comfortable. At eternalHealth, we make it easy for our members to incorporate healthy habits into their daily lives, whether at home, at the gym, or with their healthcare providers. Learn more today at 1 (800) 831-9218 (TTY 711) or visit www.eternalHealth.com.


Page Last Updated On: May 30, 2024
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Tom Cunniffe

Tom Cunniffe

Director of Operations 

Tom Cunniffe comes to eternalHealth with over 20 years of healthcare operations’ experience, having held leadership positions in Call Center, Enrollment, Credentialing, UAT and Reimbursement teams. Tom has worked with Medicaid, Commercial and Medicare lines of business and has consistently built teams who are metrics driven with proven successful outcomes. Making sure our business strives for an efficient, best-in-class customer experience is at the center of Tom’s philosophy.

Tom has a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University and a master’s in business administration from University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Tom Lawless

Tom Lawless

Chief Financial Officer

Tom Lawless has spent the past 20+ years building, sustaining, and growing new healthcare-related programs that balance fiscal responsibility & prudence with creativity & innovation, focusing on models of care that are novel, person-centered, and improve the social welfare of those who are served. He is very excited to continue doing so in his role as the Chief Financial Officer of eternalHealth.

Tom comes to eternalHealth from a not-for-profit, member-centric, health insurance cooperative. He helped the company continuously strive toward its dual goals of thriving financially, while keeping members at the very epicenter of its mission and service model. While there, Tom also spearheaded the creation of a brand new private, charitable foundation, which will be meaningfully giving back to those in need in the surrounding communities for years to come. Previously, Tom worked in the finance department of a successful hospice that provided high-quality care to persons experiencing their unique and poignant end-of-life journeys, assuring that the appropriate financing was always available. Tom’s career began as a civil servant in the Wisconsin Medicaid program, where he helped to create a program that expanded the institutional entitlement to care into home and community-based settings. Starting with only a blueprint in hand, the program now serves more than 57,000 frail elders and disabled adults and is considered a national model. Growing into a senior leadership role, Tom was a key architect of an innovative financing model, through which the public and private sectors successfully collaborated to better the lives of persons in great need.

Tom holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago, with additional graduate work in economics completed at the University Wisconsin-Madison.

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