Want to slow your memory decline and ward off dementia? A
new 10-year study of more than 29,000 older adults has confirmed there is a
link between how we live and our cognitive function as we age.
The researchers identified six habits linked with a lower
risk of dementia and a slower rate of memory decline.
1. Physical exercise: at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75
minutes of vigorous activity per week.
2. Diet: eating appropriate daily amounts of at least seven
to 12 food items (including fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, oil, eggs, cereals,
legumes, nuts and tea).
3. Alcohol: not drinking or only occasionally.
4. Smoking: not smoking or a former smoker.
5. Cognitive activity: exercising the brain at least twice a
week (such as reading, playing cards).
6. Social contact: engaging with others at least twice a
Those people who had four to six healthy factors, and those in the average group of two to three had a slower rate of memory decline over time than people with less healthy lifestyles. Notably, this held true even for people who carried the APOE gene associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.