How your lifestyle choices can affect your long-term memory

Engaging in healthy habits can reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease.

We all know that eating well and engaging in regular exercise are essential for aging longevity. Moderating your consumption of salty, over-processed foods can substantially reduce your risk of heart disease and other medical concerns, while aerobic activity has been shown to improve mental clarity for men and women in their 50s and beyond. Recently, a new study has shown yet another cumulative benefit of these healthy behaviors: the potential to ward off memory loss.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, and has been dubbed "the defining disease of the Baby Boomer generation" by the Alzheimer's Association. At its worst, this condition is characterized by severe memory loss and disorientation, and can take a substantial toll on the afflicted individual's quality of life. But, according to new research from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), making healthy decisions on a day-to-day basis as you age can reduce your risk of developing this disorder.

According to a press release from the university, researchers reviewed the results of a national poll regarding memory and lifestyle habits that included smoking, drinking and general dietary choices. They found that people who routinely ate healthy, balanced meals and exercised were less likely to cite memory issues as a concern as they aged. They also determined that, in general, people in their 60s and above actually were in better shape than younger respondents.

"These findings reinforce the importance of educating young and middle-aged individuals to take greater responsibility for their health – including memory – by practicing positive lifestyle behaviors earlier in life," Dr. Gary Small, psychiatry professor and director of the UCLA Longevity Center, said in the release.

If you're concerned about how your lifestyle choices will affect your ability to age gracefully, contact Longevity Centres of America in Houston today.