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Expat Health Insurance News: Cardio 'helps maintain cognitive function'

Regular cardiovascular exercise is the best method of ensuring cognitive function is maintained as it helps keep the brain stimulated and active.

Exercise may become less of a priority for expat insurance customers as they deal with the various issues associated with relocating abroad, but Dan Roberts, cognitive therapist and founder of danroberts.com, explained cardio tasks like jogging, cycling and swimming all help the brain.

"Maintaining a healthy blood flow to the brain is vital for brain function," he observed, adding cardio exercise has been identified by scientists as "the single best thing we can do" to aid cognitive function.

Research conducted at the Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center published earlier this month in the journal Archives of Neurology revealed people who are vulnerable to developing Alzheimer's disease may find exercise reduces their risk of contracting the condition and Mr Roberts observed that cardio "keeps blood pumping efficiently throughout the body".

However, advice on what diet to follow to ensure a brain remains healthy is less clear-cut, he noted. A lot of research suggesting omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial has been discredited, along with the suggestion that "drinking lots of water" can help.

Mr Roberts explained the best approach to take is to consume five pieces of fruit or vegetables per day, maintain a well-rounded diet -such as one that does not include excessive amounts of sugar or saturated fat – and keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.

Research into Alzheimer's has also been conducted by a team from Sweden's Lund University and they concluded people could discover they are at risk of the condition as many as ten years in advance of becoming ill.

The scientists showed elevated levels of a substance called tau and low quantities of beta-amyloid both indicate an increased risk of a person developing Alzheimer's.

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