If you are one of those who are staring dejectedly at your paunchy abdomen and promising yourself that you will hit the gym ‘soon’, watch out. You run the risk of developing dementia.
According to studies conducted at the University of Loughborough, UK, lifestyle changes like reducing fatty foods and quitting smoking can not only help you with the maintenance of a good body but can also help you with psychological well being.
“Remember, what is good for your heart is good for your brain,” said Dr Eef Hogervoust, Professor of Biological Psychology at the University of Loughborough who was in the city on Sunday for the 11th Appa Rao Lecture organised by Tridmed Healthcare. Delivering her lecture on ‘Your lifestyle and the Ageing Brain’ the Professor said that the risks associated with heart disease, including high pressure, cholesterol and diabetes, seemed to be risks factors for brain diseases like dementia too. Recent studies show that people who have reduced their risk of these diseases through regular exercises and healthy lifestyles have reduced risk of dementia in their old age.
But the catch is, as the professor pointed out, the interventions do not work that well after the onset of dementia. The control of these lifestyle diseases has to be made before people hit 45 or 50.
Speaking about healthy food, she pointed out that new studies show that fruits and vegetables which are grown in natural ‘wild’ environments are much better for the body. “The plants which have grown in safe environments have not fought against pests or disease. It is only when it fights that the plant and the fruit gets beneficial qualities. Organic farming is a way forward in the context.” she said.
When it comes to exercises, there must be at least 150 minutes a week divided across five days, on a regular basis. “This must be exercises which increases heart rate and make you sweat.” But it can include anything from running up the stairs to walking to the grocery shop.