This story was originally published in “The Independent”.
Based on a thirty-five year study out of Cardiff University, it seems that the single best and most effective lifestyle choice one can make to avoid dementia is… exercise.
As part of a package of five positive lifestyle habits, the risk of dementia can be reduced by as much as 60%. The scientists found that when over two thousand men exercised, didn’t smoke, maintained a low body weight, ate a healthy diet and limited their alcohol intake, not only did their mental health improve, but they cut the probability of heart disease and stroke by an astounding 70%.
Now, chiropractors are never shocked by outcomes like this, since we see the results of such behaviours every day. But it is significant when established institutions track people’s level of health and wellness over three decades and support the relationship between good lifestyle decisions and good body function, and that can only lead to more awareness and a more robust cultural response.
In fact, this research, the most extensive of its kind, demonstrated that among these five behaviours, exercise seemed to have the most profound and far-reaching influence. The authors said they were “really amazed” by how beneficial such lifestyle patterns turned out to be.
“What the research shows is that following a healthy lifestyle confers surprisingly large benefits to health,” said Professor Peter Elwood of Cardiff University’s School of Medicine. “Healthy behaviours have a far more beneficial effect than any medical treatment or preventative procedure.”
The first chiropractic clinics (120 years ago) had exercise facilities and we have been espousing the importance of exercise alongside healthy habits ever since.
What is noteworthy is that traditional researchers are arriving at these conclusions as an outgrowth of thorough university-based studies that build the case, not only on our chiropractic anecdotes, but out there on the table for all to see. Schopenhauer’s remarks about truth are played out here, since many have ridiculed or violently opposed the incorporation of such constructive habits, and now they seem poised on the brink of adopting them as self-evident.
We’re not quite there yet – Dr. Elwood found that very few people follow these five patterns, and that while smoking was less prevalent, the percentage of people practicing such health habits was mostly unchanged over the decades, which makes our professional chiropractic input that much more important.
Dr. Doug Brown, research director of the Alzheimer’s Society said: “We have known for some time that what is good for your heart is also good for your head, and this study provides more evidence…that healthy living could significantly reduce the chances of developing dementia.”
Sometimes the progress may seem slow, but the world is coming around to a chiropractic way of thinking – it’s still the best kept secret in health care, but the time is coming where science will prove what we’ve said all along, that being healthy is natural, intuitive, inside out, and that to be truly well, you must take care of your brain and nerve system.
To find out how your brains health can be affected by your body and spine, please contact us at White Tree Chiropractic Ltd.
In writing this article a thank you goes to Dr Dennis Perman of The Masters Circle for valued insight.