This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association. All opinions are 100% mine.
Dealing with cancer and dementia with my family has been a tough area. I remember, there were times when I was scared of reality, so I kept putting off visits to both my grandfathers. “How is he? Has he gotten worse?” I would ask those far braver than me. It felt like a force field that kept me away and penetrating through that wall would make it painfully real.
Almost 11 years ago my paternal grandfather passed away of a stroke, after years of battling cancer. Almost three years ago my maternal grandfather passed away of dementia. Both left me with heavy regrets.
No Regrets with Life’s Simple 7
I regret not being strong enough to visit both my grandfathers sooner. I was afraid dementia had made my grandfather forget me, and by the time I finally visited he had. I regret not knowing what to do for my mom, dad, and grandmothers during a time when they needed me.
My grandmother cared for my grandfather at home through all his cancer, up until hospice took over just days before he passed. I should have helped her more. Been there more. I can’t go back and undo what is done, and everyone has regrets.
Thinking about how this can happen to them, I think what could I do to prevent a scary end of life. I don’t want my brain health to be one of them. If I’m going to go, I want to go strong and healthy.
Ok, so I learned something in my pursuit to have an awesome brain in my 90s. There are ways to prevent and slow down the aging process in your brain. You can NOT have regrets about your Brain Health. You can incorporate Life’s Simple 7 into your life as a way to help prevent dementia, memory loss, stroke, and heart disease. And just stay mentally sharp!
Brain health matters at every decade of life. Having a healthy brain and living independent well into your senior years starts with healthy choices in your 20’s.
Some causes of dementia are hereditary and some risk factors of stroke and heart disease may be hereditary. Things like high blood pressure, diabetes, and abnormally high cholesterol can lead to a stroke and heart disease.
Knowing that, and that 80% of heart disease and strokes in adults are preventable, I owe it to myself, my family, and my grandfathers to have good brain health. What does it mean to have good brain health?
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association defines a healthy brain as a brain that is functioning at its best, free from disease and is receiving normal blood flow and oxygen levels.
I may not do it all perfectly, but I am ready to take the simple steps to take control of my noggin!
Simple lifestyle changes today, like Life’s Simple 7, can help keep your brain healthy to prevent brain problems like dementia, memory loss, and stroke.
Did you know that the same healthy behaviors that help prevent heart disease, can also help you improve your brain health, help prevent stroke and help to keep your mind sharp as you age? I’m a multi-tasker so these are my kind of behaviors for healthy living. So, what are they?
Living a Healthy Lifestyle includes Life’s Simple 7
Simple Healthy Behaviors
- Eat and sleep better
- Get physically and socially active
- Don’t smoke and limit your alcohol intake
- Lose weight
- Manage blood pressure
- Control cholesterol
- Reduce blood sugar
The brain continues to be an organ that amazes us. Don’t take your brain for granted. Keep it thinking sharp with a brain-healthy lifestyle, and be aware of signs of damage. Damage to the brain is often unseen or may not bee recognized. Memory loss, trouble organizing thoughts, and confusion can be invisible.
When normal blood flow (which transports oxygen to the brain) is disrupted due to low blood flow or a blockage, the brain can become damaged. Once the brain is damaged (brain cells die), it can never be repaired.
I’m living with No Regrets using Life’s Simple 7 for Brain Health and I hope you will join me!