Almost 13,000 people living in Devon are diagnosed with dementia and this number is predicted to rise by 84 percent in the next sixteen years. Dementia is highly common in elderly people over the age of 65, but its symptoms and risk of onset can decrease with some simple lifestyle changes.

Exeter is a great place to incorporate some of these lifestyle changes and here is a ten-step guide on activities that can help you live healthier and decrease your risk of dementia while enjoying all Exeter has to offer.

Change Up Your Diet at Exeter’s Healthiest Restaurants

Studies have shown that food additives, processing, high fat and gluten can affect memory and increase your risk for dementia. Therefore, you will want to stick to omega-3s such as olive oil and fish, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Try getting your healthy food fix from restaurants in Exeter like Waikiki, Puffing Billy, and the Conservatory Restaurant, which all have vegan and gluten-free options and healthy menus to help reduce your risk for dementia.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise can help to reduce your risk of dementia by as much as 50 percent. Why not enrol at a fitness class at the University of Exeter or the Street Motion Freerunning Academy, rent a kayak or canoe and row along the River Exe, or ride your bike along the Quay?

Walk a Scenic Route

Walking six to nine miles a week can lower your risk of memory problems by 50 percent. Luckily, Exeter has some beautifully calming areas for you to walk. Take a stroll through the Exeter Green Circle, a twelve mile walk within the boundaries of Exeter where you can see everything from green country sides to the quiet suburb.   

Destress in the gardens

Simply looking at a green landscape and natural environments can decrease stress associated with an increased risk of dementia. Take a trip to Haldon Forest Park, Exeter Sculpture Walk, or Northernhay Gardens to spend some relaxing time surrounded by the beauties of nature.

Join a Group and Be Social

Humans are social beings and getting involved in social activities and making new friends is essential to protect yourself from the onset of dementia. The University of Exeter has launched a weekly social event called Senior Socials at St Sidwell’s (SSASS) that provides people over the age of 60 a chance to meet and enjoy a range of different activities. You can also join a meet-up group and meet likeminded individuals to explore Exeter with.

Learn a New Skill

Keeping your mind fresh by learning a new skill can help to improve cognition and build immunity to dementia. You can learn to kayak at Saddles and Paddles, pick up rock-climbing at the Quay Climbing Centre, or pick up a new language and attend the Exeter International Film Festival.

Indulge in Music

An appreciation of music promotes effective neural pathways that can lead to positive mental health. While in Exeter, spend a night listening to classical music at Exeter Cathedral, visit a show by the Exeter Philharmonic Choir, or partake in one of Exeter’s many music festivals. Exeter exudes culture and music so it won’t be hard for you to find a musical performance to enjoy.

Play, Laugh, and Have Fun

Humour and fun have always been known to increase happiness and longevity. It also significantly reduces the risk of dementia, so find something that you are passionate about and make it a priority. If you’re interested in art, go to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery every now and then. If you’re interested in sports, there is football at Exeter City, rugby with the Exeter Chiefs, or experience the thrill of horse-racing at Exeter Racecourse.

Exercise Your Brain

Puzzles are the most effective way to stay mentally vigilant and increase your cognitive acuity. Escape rooms are a new fad that have made its way to Exeter, and a great way to exercise your brain. You can try your hand at the puzzles at Mission Escape Exeter or Red House Mysteries for a fun and stimulating experience for your brain.

Get Your Beauty Rest

A good night’s sleep helps your brain to relax, rest, and restore itself. If you have trouble sleeping, try some relaxing activities throughout Exeter like a day out at the Wear Park Spa at Exeter Golf & Country Club or grab some relaxing tea at Tea on the Green.

These ten steps will help you stage off the onset of dementia, and also show you a side of Exeter you never would have seen otherwise. 


Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery - RAMM
Royal Albert Memorial Museum Queen Street Exeter

Exeter’s world-class museum has stunning displays and galleries, fabulous exhibitions and modern amenities. The displays reveal Devon and Exeter’s rich history and global connections. Exotic animals, birds and insects delight children and the World Cultures galleries display stunning items from all over the world.

Quay Climbing Centre
Adventure Park/Playground
Two people climbing in Quay Climbing Centre

Enjoy climbing with your family or friends at the South West’s largest indoor climbing wall. The Quay Climbing Centre is located in the heart of Exeter’s Quayside in the Old Electricity Building.

Saddles and Paddles
Waymarked Trail
Saddles and Paddles

Saddles & Paddles is a local business based on the historic Exeter quayside that offers something different for those looking for an outdoor adventure.

Exeter Cathedral
Exeter Cathedral roof top tour

Medieval cathedral. Fine example of Gothic Decorated style. Longest unbroken stretch of Gothic vaulting in the world. Image screen on West Front, Minstrels' Gallery and tombs. Expert guided tours, trails and activities for the family

Haldon Forest Park - Forestry Commission
Country Park/Nature Reserve
Haldon Forest Park - Forestry Commission

Haldon Forest Park is made up of 3,500 acres of woodland, just 15 minutes from Exeter. Open 364 days a year, it’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the great outdoors. With miles of trails for walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders, there’s something for everyone at Haldon Forest Park. Enjoy expansive views, exhilarating mountain biking, tree top adventures and orienteering courses. What will you discover?



  1. Comment removed by Post Author

  2. Comment removed by Post Author

  3. Comment removed by Post Author

Comments are disabled for this post.