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We are more than just our bodies; our minds are a huge part of who we are. And the two are connected: what we do affects our minds, and how we think and act affects our bodies. So if you want a healthy brain, make sure you’re taking care of your body. And that’s more important now than ever. More people are living to older ages, and, as a result, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s (along with other causes of dementia) is on the rise. While there’s still no cure for Alzheimer’s, and maybe not even a way to completely prevent it, there are a few things you can do that might reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, or that could at least help delay the onset of the symptoms, allowing you to make the most of your golden years.

Some of the things on that list are things you’ve heard us talk about before, or that you might have guessed could help reduce your Alzheimer’s risk: physical activity, healthy eating, and keeping cognitively engaged. Two things that didn’t make it on that list but that have been shown to be crucially important to healthy aging (and to reducing risk or severity of Alzheimer’s) are getting good sleep and staying socially active. Basically, what it comes down to is this: the more you can use your body and mind during the day, and the more you can let them recover at night, the longer they’ll stay in tip-top shape.

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