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How Diet and Exercise Work Together to Help with Alzheimer’s Prevention

Posted by on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Alzheimer’s remains one of the most dreaded diseases in America, and for good reason.  Not only is this disorder debilitating and fatal, but in recent years it is really on the rise.  So what can you do, if anything, to prevent Alzheimer’s devastating effects your life and those around you as you age?  Well it turns out there are some things you can do that may just help with Alzheimer’s prevention that could make the Golden Years a little more golden!

Physical activity for help with Alzheimer's disease

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Alzheimer’s prevention isn’t a singularly focused endeavor, but requires a holistic approach.  Think of help with Alzheimer’s prevention as a three pronged attack. The first prong of attack is to get involved in a daily exercise program.  Not only will exercise improve your overall health, but there is continuing evidence that exercise majorly impacts brain health and improves the overall quality of life for seniors as well.

Research

 A study conducted on exercise by Dr. Kirk Erickson of the University of Pittsburgh, observed 299 adults with a mean age of 78 to determine the affect activity had on cognitive preservation.  In this study walking was used as the means of physical activity and brain scans were done after various phases within the study.  The result was that those who exercised regularly actually had more gray matter than those that were less physically active.  The study found that exercise affected the hippocampus, frontal and occipital lobes and other areas of the brain, and resulted in a lesser risk of cognitive decline.

Nutrition and Alzheimer’s Prevention

The second prong of attack for help with Alzheimer’s prevention is to integrate a healthy Alzheimer’s diet into your daily meals including, high in omega 3 fatty acids such as those found in wild caught salmon and tuna.  Heart healthy diets such as the Mediterranean Diet (which has been shown to improve brain health), should include plenty of fruits and vegetables, limiting red meat consumption, using olive oil and substituting salt with alternative spices.  Whether you choose the Mediterranean diet or not, the key is to reduce unhealthy saturated fat intake, limit bad carbohydrates and replace them with whole grains and high fiber legumes and get plenty of complete protein to fuel your muscles for exercise.

Diet and fitness for help with Alzheimer's

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Protein Supplements

Speaking of protein (the third prong), it’s important to supplement your diet to make sure you are getting all the protein you need to maintain muscle strength and development.  Protein is the fuel for muscular growth and will also help in the repair of muscle tissue.  This is particularly important as you age to make sure that your muscles remain strong and also have the fuel to repair any damage that may occur.  Protein’s essential amino acids are often referred to as the building block of life and getting enough of it is extremely important.  Another aspect to protein is that studies also indicate that it can help in weight loss and maintaining a proper weight.

Recipe for Delicious Healthy Protein Shakes such as, a Banana Cinnamon Peanut Butter shake.

Protien shake for help with Alzheimer's prevention

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Daily Exercise Program

One important aspect to any exercise program is the individual’s ability to stick with it, so choose an exercise program carefully and one that you will be likely to follow long term.  There is an indication that weight training does positively affect cognitive ability, but any exercise is good for you so pick one that you enjoy, such as swimming, biking, or even playing tennis.  The important thing to keep in mind is to select an activity that you can stick to like walking or something that you enjoy like yoga or dancing. It is also vitally important to make sure you stay hydrated during any exercise session, so drink plenty of water! Exercise is a vital component to battling a variety of diseases, but choosing one you dislike will only end up in failure.  So be sure to pick exercises that you enjoy and can do for the long term. 

In Conclusion

Fighting disease, especially one as onerous as Alzheimer’s takes a complete effort.  A multi-pronged attack will help you to stave off all sorts of issues for a long time and has the potential to keep your brain healthy for years to come.  Learn more about how diet can help with Alzheimer’s prevention in Dr. Richard Isaacson’s diet book, “The Alzheimer’s Diet.”

For more easy to follow nutrition advice check out The Alzheimer’s Diet: A Step-by-Step Nutritional Approach to Memory Loss Prevention and Treatment, or visit theadplan.com to learn more about Neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson's 9 week diet plan and his cutting edge approach in the fight against AD in Alzheimer's Treatment | Alzheimer's Prevention: A Patient and Family Guide 2012 Edition. Also, sign up for the newsletter to get the latest updates in AD treatment and prevention news.

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