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Northampton Local Flick Book (2)

44 Q U A R T E R P A G E

44 Q U A R T E R P A G E A D V E R T S C O S T J U S T £ 3 0 Helen Crawford, Alzheimer’s Society Services Manager in Northamptonshire Spring is the ideal time to get out and get active, with the weather improving and the days getting longer. Getting more exercise and making healthier choices can go a long way to reducing your risk of dementia. While some things that affect your risk of dementia can’t be changed, such as your age or genes, there are many things you can change. These five things are especially important if you’re in your 40s, 50s or 60s - but they’re relevant to everyone. 1. Get moving One of the best ways to reduce your risk of dementia is taking part in regular physical exercise. It’s good for your heart, circulation, weight and mental wellbeing. Try to do a combination of activities you’ll enjoy as you’re more likely to stick to them, such as aerobic activities that get you moving, brisk walking, riding a bike or pushing a lawnmower. Also try ‘resistance activities’ that work your muscles, such as digging and shovelling in the garden, or lifting weights. 2. Eat well A healthy, balanced diet is likely to reduce your risk of dementia, as well as other conditions including cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, stroke and heart disease. Most of us know we should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables each day but it’s also a good idea to eat fish or other omega-3 rich foods at least twice a week. Base meals around starchy foods like bread, pasta and potatoes. Also be wary of hidden salt in foods and keep sugary foods as a treat. Take action to reduce your risk of dementia To advertise in the next edition - advertise@northampton-local.co.uk - 07738 024 823

L O W C O S T A D V E R T I S I N G F O R A L L 45 3. Quit smoking and cut down on alcohol If you smoke, you’re putting yourself at much higher risk of developing dementia later in life, as well as other conditions such as cancer and stroke. Drinking too much alcohol also increases your risk of developing dementia. Aim to drink no more than 14 units per week. That’s the equivalent of six pints of 4% lager in a week or 6 glasses of 175ml wine in a week (13% ABV). 4. Keep your mind active You can also help to reduce your risk of dementia by exercising your mind. Research suggests that regularly challenging yourself mentally seems to build up the brain’s ability to cope with disease. Find an activity you enjoy, as you’re more likely to keep it up. Try doing puzzles or crosswords, learn a new language, play card games, study for a course or write articles or stories. You might want to do some of these activities with friends or neighbours. Spending time with other people is an important part of keeping your mind active. 5. Look after your health Taking control of your health will help reduce your risk of dementia. If you’re aged 40-74, start by getting your free NHS health check. You’ll be invited to this by your GP. It’s important to see the GP if you’re worried about health problems such as depression, hearing loss, or not getting enough sleep. All of these might increase your risk of dementia. For more information on local support provided by Alzheimer’s Society, or if you’d like to volunteer with the charity call our Northamptonshire office 01832 736670 To advertise in the next edition - advertise@northampton-local.co.uk - 07738 024 823

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