If you have ever watched someone deteriorate from Alzheimer’s, you’re probably at least a little bit fearful of the disease.
The scary truth—reported by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America—is that more than 5 million Americans suffer from the disease. By the time you hit 65, your risk of developing Alzheimer’s increases dramatically. In case that isn’t terrifying enough, the Foundation estimates that in 30 years from now, close to 20% of the population will have Alzheimer’s.
While there is no known cure, or true prevention mechanism for that matter, recent research from the University of Maryland School of Public Health (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28304298) discovered a link between exercise and brain health.
The researchers put a group of seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s or mild cognitive impairment on fitness programs and ultimately discovered that walking helped their brains function better. In fact, just 30 minutes of walking with a 50 to 60 percent max heart rate four times a week led to significant improvements in their memory.
(They believe this is because it led to improvement in posterior cingulate cortex (PCC/)precuneus connectivity in the brain, which is associated with memory loss).
“We found that after 12 weeks of being on a moderate exercise program, study participants improved their neural efficiency – basically they were using fewer neural resources to perform the same memory task,” explained Dr. J. Carson Smith, the leader of the study in this University of Maryland article (https://www.umdrightnow.umd.edu/news/exercise-may-be-best-medicine-alzheimers)
He added: “No study has shown that a drug can do what we showed is possible with exercise.”
5 other possible ways to guard against memory loss and Alzheimer’s
5. Healthy body composition
Those who are overweight have a greater chance of developing Alzheimer’s. This is where we come in: We will help you get fit, stay fit, and follow an optimal diet for your body to keep your body composition, and your mind, healthy.
4. Start your morning with a coffee
Coffee is believed to combat against memory loss. In fact, another study also published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, suggests drinking coffee each day can reduce your risk of getting the disease, or at least delay its onset or severity.
3. Eliminate sugar
Some people refer to Alzheimer’s as Type 3 Diabetes. Insulin is directly linked to brain function, and eating too much of it can create insulin resistance. In short, when brain cells become insulin resistant, amyloid plaques form, which create the onset of Alzheimer’s. To avoid this, eat foods lower on the glycemic index. In other words, reduce your sugar intake.
2. Reduce stress
No surprise here. Chronic stress impacts the brain, which tends to also impact sleep, and can begin to deteriorate your brain. Specifically, cortisol (the stress hormone) can cause lasting changes in brain function.
You know what’s a great stress reliever? Working out, of course!
1. Community, community, community
When people stop doing social activities, their memory starts decreasing. Being part of a social community like ours might be just the thing you need to keep you young.