Lower Your Alzheimer’s Risk Through Good Food and Exercise

benefits of exercise

Wouldn’t it be nice if you grow old together with your spouse and still know each other’s names by the time you hit the age of 60 or more?  Sometimes, that could be the sweetest thing, considering the fact that you become more at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease at around that age.  So to keep your love story going on, take measures to keep Alzheimer’s at bay.  If you have not taken on a healthy lifestyle yet, here’s another reason to start a healthy diet and a regular exercise program.

A study of 1,800 people in their seventies, undertaken by Columbia University, found that diet and exercise are both factors in preventing the development of Alzheimer’s, whether alone or in combination.  This is believed to be the first study where diet and exercise have been considered as separate factors in reducing the chances of developing Alzheimer’s.

The research, led by Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). None of the participants suffered from Alzheimer’s at the start of the study, but after an average of 5 years, 282 cases of Alzheimer’s were diagnosed (out of 1,800 study participants).

The data indicated that:

* The people following the healthiest diets were 40% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those with the worst diets
* Those getting the most exercise were 37% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who didn’t exercise at all
* People in the top third for both diet and exercise were 59% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those in the lowest third
* A “healthy” diet was defined by the researchers as a “Mediterranean-type diet”, ranked on a scale of 0-9. Both the duration and the intensity of exercise were also taken into account.

The New York Times explained that:

“Diet may be protective because it can improve metabolic factors and reduce cardiovascular risks, inflammation and oxidative stress, [Dr Scarmeas] suggested, while physical activity has been associated with positive changes in the brain along with other positive effects.”

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