Keeping yourself physically and mentally active is an important part of staying healthy. But did you know that this is especially important if you are at risk of Huntington’s disease, gene positive or diagnosed with Huntington’s disease. Recent research has shown that if you keep yourself active in these areas that you can slow or delay the onset of symptoms. This means that whilst we don’t yet have a cure or treatment for Huntington’s disease, there is something that you can do to help yourself.
Everyone knows that staying active is good for so many reasons! The most important thing is to do something that you enjoy and that is appropriate for you.
This can be anything from walking the dog, yoga or pilates, running, Zumba, team sports, cycling or even doing the household chores! If you are new to exercise, don’t feel like you have to go from nothing to everything all at once. Be realistic and build physical activity into your lifestyle. Some of the benefits of regular physical activity/exercise include:
Increase blood circulation to the brain
Reduce risk of heart disease and/or high blood pressure
These create a positive feeling in the body and help reduce depression, stress and anxiety
Boost energy & boost your immune system
Sharpen memory and cognitive abilities
Improve sleep quality
If you are looking for ideas of what you can do at home, there is a multitude of free apps, YouTube videos and live classes on social media for fitness, dance, yoga and more! We have picked out just a few that may interest you. If you have a gym membership, check if they provide any online classes.
If you see a physiotherapist or occupational therapist and haven’t already, ask for their advice for suitable exercises that you can do at home. And remember, according to the World Health Organisation’s exercise guidelines, on average, adults aged 18-64 should aim to do at least 2 and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity a week (roughly 30 minutes, 5 days a week).
- Dance to Lady Gaga, with this fun, one-song-long dance workout for dealing with Covid-19 by Caleb Marshall.
- HD Society of America have some basic 2-3 minute workout videos on YouTube that are suitable for everyone. Just click on the link and search the options.
- The Refitrev Covid 19 Day Fitness Challenge has slightly more challenging workouts between 10 – 30 minutes long.
- If yoga is your thing, check outYoga With Adriene on YouTube for a range of yoga videos with a kind and positive teacher!
- The 7 Minute Workout App – free, fast, simple daily workouts.
- FitOn app – free fitness workouts and personalised plans.
- Nintendo – Just Dance! Or Wii Fit U
A Healthy Diet
Most foods are OK in moderation, but did you know that a balanced diet is not only good for your waist line but also for your brain!
Nutrients from your food are absorbed into your bloodstream and find their way to your brain improving brain health. By exposing yourself (and your brain) to a healthy diet you are giving yourself the best opportunity to slow brain ageing.
You can find out further information about eating a balanced diet here
Whilst we recognise the importance of exercise and a healthy diet, sometimes it’s easier said than done and we can fall into some unhealthy habits. However if you can its is best to avoid or limit the following in your diet
- Foods high in saturated fats or sugar
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Illicit drug usage