We know that it is not inevitable that with advanced age comes physical disability and mental frailty. In fact, we know a lot about strategies for aging well. Somehow, this knowledge seldom passes from the medical and health journals to the health professionals’ clinical practices and on to their patients.
For next number of days, I will provide health tips, highlighting some well researched, well known, easily accessible, drug-free “prescriptions for health”.
First, there is the obvious…If you still smoke, quit.
No smoker should be allowed out of his/her doctor’s office without this encouragement. Smoking negatively affects all aspects of health, including boosting your risk of developing Alzheimer Disease.
Then there is the very general advice of “getting more exercise”. What does that mean?
Well, findings of the Deptartment of Radiology at the Universtiy of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania showed that greater amounts of physical acitivity were associated with greater brain volume and that cognitively impaired people needed to walk at least 58 city blocks, or approximately five miles, per week to maintain brain volume and slow cogintive decline. Healthy adults, they suggest, need to walk at least 72 blocks, or six miles, per week to maintain brain volume and signifincatly reduce rthe risk for congitive decline.
Of course, exercise in general, and walking in particular brings with it many other positive health benefits. Stay posted for more on that…