Exercise to Prevent Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Mental Fitness, Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, Tough Love!

There are many things we can do to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.  But we have to commit ourselves to taking action and improving our mental health and brain’s fitness on a daily basis.

Sadly, it’s said that around 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease.  Furthermore, Alzheimer’s is now classified as the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

As a web publisher with several self help websites, I spend a great deal of time reading and researching diseases.  I round up all of the information I can, pour over it, and report it to my readers.  I’ve been known to get up on my soap box from time to time if I really want to get a point across!  ESPECIALLY when, as is the case with Alzheimer’s disease, there are certain things we can do to dramatically lower our chances of getting the disease.

That’s why you’ll find so many articles about eating healthy, managing stress, challenging the brain with brain games, puzzles, and new tasks.  You’ll also find plenty of admonitions to move that body of yours!

New research shows that physical activity plays a front seat role in reduced risk of dementia.  Did you catch that?  Reduced risk of dementia!  It’s always exciting to know that there are things we can do, that we aren’t helpless.  Let’s really be as smart as we say we are and pay attention to what science is telling us.

Shouldn’t we start today?

Experts tell us that the harder we work out, the more it may help. In a Harvard study of 1,211 patients enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study, researchers found that 244 participants developed either Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Those who engaged in moderate to heavy physical activity were 45 percent less likely to develop any kind of dementia than those reporting only light exercise.

Researcher Dr. Zaldy Tan of Harvard was quoted in Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter (October 2010): “Physical activity can be maintained even late in life, and we have to remain active even in old age. Engaging even in moderate activity at least an hour a day appears to be protective of dementia.”

What would be classified as moderate activity?   Serious shopping, housework, yard work, cleaning the garage, walking the dog, bowling, golf, etc.  One sure way to sneak in extra moderate activity is to move around while watching television. Either stand up and walk in place during the show you’re enjoying or jog in place during each set of commercials.

If you have an exercise bike, move it into the room you’re in the most often. When it’s right there staring at you, you’re more apt to climb on and take a ride

Not only should we move more, we should also eat smarter. When it comes to diet, research points to increasing antioxidants from food.

Foods rich in vitamin E and vitamin C, beta-carotene and flavonoids may help stave off mental decline with aging. Major food sources for vitamin E include margarine, sunflower oil, butter, cooking fat, soybean oil, mayonnaise, peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds, spinach and broccoli. Major food sources for other antioxidants include nearly all fruits and vegetables.

Like so many things in life, it all boils down to making smart choices.  Do what you know you should do and avoid that which you know you shouldn’t do.  Kind of like grade school, right?

Make each moment count double,
~ Joi

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