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It’s never too late (or too early) to adopt a more healthful lifestyle


It is common for many of us at the beginning of a new season to make some resolutions with all good intentions of keeping them. Healthy living resolutions often rank at the top of our list – first, because they are simple and straightforward resolutions and second, because they are good for us and promise long-term benefits.

In fact, healthy living choices do have countless long-term benefits and offer protections against many chronic diseases. Over time, these choices will make a difference for our health and well-being. As we conscientiously consider our lifestyle improvements, I want to remind each of us, myself included, that it is “never too early, never too late” to reassess and perhaps realign our daily routines to be consistent with a healthier and happier lifestyle.

Here are seven suggestions that could be used as a rough guide to a healthier spring:

• Take a 15-20 minute walk every day. Consider an after-dinner walk; take a stroll before you begin your day; perhaps volunteer to walk a dog for an animal shelter or a friend if you don’t have one; take the stairs rather than an escalator or elevator.

• Avoid packaged and processed foods. Fuel your body with a healthy and balanced diet that is higher in vegetables and fruits and lower in fat and sugar.

• Get enough sleep on a regular basis. Sleep deprivation, insomnia or sleep apnea increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia

• Stay socially engaged, and pursue social activities that are meaningful to you. Find ways to be part of your local community. If you love animals, consider volunteering at a local shelter. If you enjoy singing, join a local choir.

• Hit the books! Challenge and keep your mind active. Formal education at any stage of life will help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Take a class at a local college online or at a community center. Complete a jigsaw puzzle or play games that make you think strategically.

• Love your heart. Keep your blood pressure, blood glucose, and weight under control. Take care of your heart and the brain just might follow.

• Take care of your mental health. Seek medical attention for symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns. Try to manage stress.

For more information on this topic, please visit my websites: www.pratico-lab.com; https://medium.com/@domenicopratico; https://www.newswise.com/users/expert/

Dr. Domenico Pratico is the director of the Alzheimer’s Center at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia.

Dr. Domenico Pratico

Dr. Domenico Pratico is the director of the Alzheimer’s Center at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia.

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