A NEW REASON TO WORK OUT PREVENTION OF ALS
Recent research finds that regular exercise, like your weekly Curves workouts, and a diet rich in brightly coloured fruits and vegetables may help prevent ALS. It’s the stuff of scary movies, but this isn’t fiction - it’s real. Amylotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS, is a disease that strikes the motor neurons of the brain and spinal cord, which activate muscles and control movement. ALS causes the neurons to degenerate and eventually die. A man or woman suffering with ALS will remain mentally healthy and vibrant as paralysis sets in throughout the body.
According to the ALS Association, approximately 5,600 people in the United States are diagnosed with the disease each year, and at any given time about 30,000 men and women are struggling with it. ALS is most common among those between the ages of 40 and 70 but can strike anyone at any time. On average, those diagnosed with the disease have a life expectancy between two and five years, but up to 10 percent live 10 years or more.
The Good News
Recent research finds that regular exercise, like your weekly Curves workouts, and a diet rich in brightly coloured fruits and vegetables may help prevent ALS.
Regular exercise. For a study published last May in the Annals of Neurology, the journal of the American Neurological Association, European researchers from six countries interviewed 652 men and women with ALS and 1,166 individuals of matching age, gender, and residence who did not have the disease. They found that regular physical activity was associated with a lower risk or ALS.
Fruits and veggies. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health gathered data for more than one million men and women and discovered that those whose diets were high in the nutrients beta-carotene and lutein - found in dark-green veggies and brightly coloured (orange, red, yellow) fruits and vegetables - had a lower risk of ALS, leading the scientist to suggest that more of these foods may help prevent or delay ALS but that more research is needed.