An ongoing study is examining the combined impact of a Mediterranean diet and regular walking on dementia and cognitive decline. The study, which the researchers refer to as the “MedWalk intervention,” aims to confirm the benefits of the combined approach in reducing the risk of cognitive decline and dementias, including Alzheimer’s dementia. Both the Mediterranean diet and regular walking have been linked to brain health in previous research. The study is ongoing, with researchers from Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom conducting the investigation.
The primary outcome of the study is a 12-month change in visual memory and learning for participants. Researchers are also interested in observing the intervention’s effects on various areas, including mood, quality of life, health costs, cardiovascular health, and arterial stiffness.
Participants in the study are individuals aged 60 to 90 years living in South Australia and Victoria, Australia. They were recruited from independent living retirement communities and, due to the pandemic, from the larger community as well. The study is designed to provide insight into the Mediterranean diet’s potential impact when combined with regular walking.
The Mediterranean diet and regular walking have previously been associated with various brain health benefits, such as reducing the risk of dementia. The data collection period for the current study will be completed by the end of 2023.
It’s important to note that while diet and exercise are significant contributors to brain health, they are just one aspect of a comprehensive approach to dementia prevention and overall health. Genetics, lifestyle, and overall health also play a role in dementia risk. Maintaining a healthy diet and incorporating regular exercise into one’s routine can contribute to brain health, but they should be part of a broader health strategy.