Your heart, your brain, your body — the health of all three are connected. Here are a few steps you can take to maintain your overall health and reduce your risk factors for dementia:
If it's good for your heart, then it's good for your brain. Since African- Americans have a higher rate of vascular (stroke-related) disease — which may be a risk factor for cognitive impairment — it's important to engage in physical activity to reduce your risk.
Prevention or control of high blood pressure helps maintain a healthy brain and promotes overall health. Adopt a fitness routine, eat healthy foods, don't smoke and work to maintain a healthy weight.
A healthy brain and heart depend on maintaining normal cholesterol levels. Engage in regular physical activity and eat a diet low in saturated fat and high in fiber.
Take steps to reduce your risk for diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active. Prevention or control of diabetes promotes a healthy brain.
African-Americans are at greater risk than white Americans for high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Because brain and heart health are so closely linked, it's important to take good care of both. In addition, stay socially and mentally active to make sure your brain and your body can perform at their best.