Health & Fitness
Research shows that people at risk, gene positive or diagnosed with HD can reduce the impact of HD symptoms and delay progression by staying physically, mentally and socially active.
Eat healthy and exercise regularly
When implementing exercise into your regular routine, it is important to choose an activity that you will enjoy and commit to. This can be anything from walking the dog everyday, yoga, running, dance, etc. In addition to physical benefits including, better overall health, reduced risk of disease and lower blood pressure, regular exercise comes with social and emotional benefits. The endorphins released in the brain during and after exercise create a positive feeling in the body, reduce depression, stress and anxiety.
Regular exercise has also been shown to:
- Boost energy
- Sharpen memory and overall cognitive abilities
- Improve sleep quality
- Boost your immune system
According to the World Health Organisation's exercise guidelines, on average, adults aged 18-64 should target to do at least 2 and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity a week (roughly 30 minutes, 5 days a week).
Additionally, a balance between regular exercise and a healthy diet greatly contributes to the physical and emotional benefits mentioned above. A well-balanced diet should include good carbohydrates (brown rice, wholemeal breads and pastas), lean meats, fish, fruits and fresh vegetables. Foods to avoid are high sugar, saturated fats and processed foods. For more information on healthy eating, visit Better Health Channel.
Stay socially and mentally active
Staying socially connected and mentally active also contributes to your overall health and wellbeing. Pursuing your interests and hobbies and maintaining social interaction will increase positive thinking, provide a sense of fulfillment and sharpen your cognitive abilities. This can include activities such as:
- Group based activities
- Having a coffee with friends
Making time for yourself and engaging in activities that interest you are great ways of reducing stress and anxiety.