It’s obvious that our bodies need exercise to stay happy and healthy—especially as we age. And like with our bodies, our brains can lose some of their pep as we get older. In some cases, however, that brain deterioration becomes a disorder known as dementia—and its most widespread form is Alzheimer’s disease. As the nerve cells in the brain die, people with dementia slowly lose the ability to think and remember, along with the ability to care for themselves. New studies indicate that as many as five to eight percent of Canadians over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s disease, and that it may affect as many as 30-50 percent of people over the age of 85.
But losing cognitive function doesn’t have to be a normal part of aging. The key to healthy aging is in keeping your brain fit and active. While studies indicate that having a parent or a sibling with the disease can increase your chances of developing dementia, it’s not the only factor. Here are five tips that can help keep your brain in top form.