An estimated 5 million Americans over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. This condition, which can affect the brain's ability to store and recall memories, is often accompanied by dementia. If you are worried about the effect that a potential Alzheimer's diagnosis could have on not only the quality of your own life, but the stress this diagnosis could place on your friends and family, taking actions to prevent dementia can be beneficial.
Here are three things you can do during your daily commute to help keep dementia away in the future.
1. Stay away from the drive-thru line.
The foods you eat on a regular basis could play a significant role in either helping you ward off dementia, or promoting the development of this condition in the future. If you find yourself stopping at fast-food restaurants on a regular basis, taking the time to pack some healthy snacks to sustain you during your commute instead could help you prevent the development of dementia.
Ripe strawberries and blueberries are both delicious and beneficial for your cognitive health. A Harvard Medical study found that consuming 74 grams of blueberries and 150 grams of strawberries each week could delay cognitive ageing by up to two years. Take some of these berries with you on your commute, and snack your way to better cognitive health.
2. Learn a second language.
Speaking multiple languages is one way that you can fight off dementia in the future. A comprehensive medical study (the largest of its kind to date) discovered that individuals who spoke two or more languages were able to delay the onset of dementia by an average of 4.5 years.
The time you spend commuting to and from work each day presents you with the perfect opportunity to begin learning a new language. Invest in some instructional audio recordings that you can listen to while you drive, and your daily commute can become a classroom in which you help yourself ward off dementia while gaining valuable language skills.
3. Get more exercise.
Americans spend an average of nearly an hour driving to and from work each day. Incorporating exercises into your daily commute can not only increase your physical wellbeing, but promote better cognitive health as well. Research shows that engaging in regular exercise can improve your memory and slow down the effects of cognitive decline.
Even though you are sitting while in your car, you can exercise your core by contracting your lower abs and crunching downward to engage your inner abs. Hold the contraction for 8 to 10 seconds, and repeat 8 to 12 times. You can also try seated twists, which can be done when you are stuck in traffic. Elongate your upper body, twist from the waist and reach for your left arm rest with your right arm. Repeat on the other side.
Make your daily commute more productive by using the time spent in your car to help you battle the onset of dementia. For more tips, contact a clinic such as Allegheny Brain And Spine Surgeons.