Research has found that sticking to four of the following five lifestyle changes will slash the risk of dementia and cognitive decline by at least 60%.
- Exercise regularly – take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Quit smoking – go to SmokeFree for more tips.
- Adopt a healthy diet – try turning to a Mediterranean diet
- Lower alcohol intake – drastically cut your alcohol intake.
- Lose weight – maybe join a weight loss group like Weight Watchers
While getting healthier is beneficial for many reasons, by making these tiny tweaks it can also prevent up to 70% fewer instances of diabetes, heart disease and stroke compared to people who followed none of the tips.
The long-term study by Cardiff University began with 2,235 men in the Caerphilly area of South Wales in 1979, and found that the five factors above had an impact on preventing illnesses developing in older age.
“What the research shows is that following a healthy lifestyle confers surprisingly large benefits to health – healthy behaviours have a far more beneficial effect than any medical treatment or preventative procedure,” head researcher Professor Peter Elwood, of Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, told the Daily Mail.
“Taking up and following a healthy lifestyle is, however, the responsibility of the individual him or herself. Sadly, the evidence from this study shows that very few people follow a fully healthy lifestyle.”