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A Glass Of Red Wine A Day Slows Cognitive Decline, Researchers Say

A Glass Of Red Wine A Day Slows Cognitive Decline, Researchers Say

We often see conflicting studies about food all over the Internet. One day cow’s milk is good for you, the next cow’s milk is harmful to your health. But, when it comes to wine, it seems people across the board are in agreement: a glass of red wine a day is good for your health. In fact, red wine could do more than just enhance your food. It can preserve your memory for longer, researchers say.

Scientists at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago released findings of a new study funded by the National Institute on Aging that was published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. The study showed that just one drink of red wine a day may delay dementia in those at risk from the disease and keep the mind sharp.

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As you may already know, cognitive decline is a normal part of aging.

“Everyone experiences decline with aging; and Alzheimer’s disease is now the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., which accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia’s cases,” Martha Clare Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Center, said in a statement about the new study.

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Morris and her team of researchers reported that elderly adults who strictly followed a diet called MIND, described as a hybrid of the Mediterranean diet that emphasizes eating plant-based foods, were 7.5 years younger cognitively over a period of nearly five years than those who adhered to the diet the least.

“We have been studying the effects of nutrition on dementia for 20 years and felt that it was time to consider an overall diet that incorporated all of the science on nutrition and the brain,” explained Morris.

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To do so, the researchers carried out an observational study of 960 adults with an average age of 81.4 years at 40 retirement community and senior public housing units in the Chicago area over a period of 4.7 years. They uncovered a slower decline in mental ability among the seniors who adhered most closely to MIND, or Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.

This diet focuses on foods known to provide the greatest protection from cognitive decline. These foods include whole grains, green leafy vegetables, olive oil, fish, beans, nuts, the occasional chicken, and wine. Followers of the diet limit the amount of the five unhealthy food groups — red meat, butter, cheese, stick margarine, sweets, pastries, and fried or fast foods — that they eat. The only fruits in MIND are berries.

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“The study findings suggest that the MIND diet substantially slows cognitive decline with age,” Morris said. In an earlier report, the researchers announced that the diet developed at the Rush University Medical Center may also reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, the MIND diet lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 53 percent in participants who adhered to the diet rigorously, and by about 35 percent in those who followed it moderately well.

Other studies on cognitive decline have also shown that wine contains high levels of flavonoids, natural compounds that have an antioxidant effect, which helps with good blood circulation and improved cognitive function. These flavonoids are thought to work by mopping up excessive amounts of harmful chemicals that are naturally produced by the body, as well as making the blood less likely to clot.

While this particular study by Morris and her team only shows correlation and not causation, we’ll take it as an excuse to hunker down with a glass of the good stuff. Enjoying a glass of red wine in moderation may help with cognitive function and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, after all. That’s good enough reason for all of us to feel good about enjoying a glass of red wine every day.

Featured photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski via flickr.com

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David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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