Irrefutable evidence continues to emerge supporting the science behind simple lifestyle modifications that dramatically lower the risk of developing memory-robbing illnesses.
Not more than 50 years ago, Alzheimer’s disease was virtually unknown to the average person, yet it now threatens to directly or indirectly impact the life of almost every man, woman and child in the U.S.
Fortunately, there are some very simple lifestyle changes that we can adopt to change the current course of this explosion in new dementia cases.
Publishing in the journal PLOS One, a research team from the Cardiff University School of Medicine in the United Kingdom has identified five lifestyle behaviors that have been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive decline, and researchers say these healthy habits are more beneficial than medical treatments or preventative procedures.
Researchers identified exercise as the most important lifestyle factor to lower dementia risk.
The researchers followed a cohort of 2,235 men aged 45-49 from 1979 to 2004 in the U.K. During this period, incidences of diabetes, vascular disease, cancer and death were recorded, along with an examination in 2004 to determine cognitive state. After a detailed analysis of all available data, the scientists identified the following five healthy behaviors as being essential for the best chance of living a disease-free life:
- performing regular exercise
- not smoking
- maintaining a low body weight
- following a healthy diet
- having a low alcohol intake
The study demonstrated that the individuals who adhered to four or five of these behaviors had a 60 percent lowered risk of dementia and cognitive decline, and there were 70 percent fewer cases of diabetes, heart disease and stroke, compared with individuals who followed none of the behaviors.
As far as reducing the risk for dementia, the scientists noted that regular moderate-intensity exercise was the strongest factor. “What the research shows is that following a healthy lifestyle confers surprisingly large benefits to health,” the lead study author, Dr. Doug Brown, concluded.
“We have known for some time that what is good for your heart is also good for your head, and this study provides more evidence to show that healthy living could significantly reduce the chances of developing dementia.”
About the author:
John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan, a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource.