1 Go dancing
Enjoying a twirl on the dance floor gives you physical exercise and the opportunity to be sociable, both of which are listed in the World Health Organization’s recommendations for reducing dementia risk. A dance workout boosts circulation to your brain and helps to lay down neural circuits, plus it involves swift thinking to remember steps. ‘Research shows that dance changes how you think and problem-solve,’ says dance psychologist Dr Peter Lovatt.
2 Play strategy games
You often hear people say ‘use it or lose it’, and studies suggest that games that challenge you strategically – such as bridge or chess – can help to stave off dementia. Regularly challenging yourself mentally builds up your brain’s ability to cope with disease – elderly people who play mentally challenging games are 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, according to a US study.
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