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Monday, Oct 20, 2014
Dr. OZ

Young people can't forget healthy habits


Published:

Movies like "50 First Dates" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" make memory lapses in their 20- to 30-year-old characters seem slightly glamorous. But if it happens to you, it most definitely is not.

A surprising number of people in the 18 to 39 set (14 percent in one study) report they have memory problems. But 30 percent of people in this age group are obese, do not manage stress well, have elevated lousy LDL cholesterol and markers for bodywide inflammation. So it isn't surprising that young memories are being damaged.

Studies show that you can SLASH your risk for memory problems by adopting four simple, healthy behaviors. If you pick up just one and make it a habit, your risk for memory problems drops 21 percent; two cuts it by 45 percent; pick up three and you're 75 percent less likely to be forgetful. Adopt four healthy habits? Jackpot! Your memory will be unforgettably good. Here's our set of beneficial behaviors; write 'em down:

1. Don't smoke!

2. Exercise at least 30 minutes five or more days a week (walking counts) and mix in strength training two to three days a week for a metabolic boost.

3. Be able to say (every day) "I dodged junk food today!" That means you ate none of the Five Food Felons (trans fats, added sugars and sugar syrups, red meats and grain that isn't 100 percent whole).

4. Eat at least five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

Bonus: Meditate daily. It's a super-effective way to prevent memory problems.

v-v Extreme temperatures are ba-a-a-ck! Las Vegas has hit 109; Phoenix, 110; Redding, Calif., 112. But it doesn't have to get that hot to make you dangerously dehydrated.

Your body needs a steady supply of water to function. How much? Divide your weight (in pounds) by two. That's your basic daily need for ounces of water. But if you're out in the hot sun, the amount can skyrocket. And if you don't get extra ounces of water, you can find yourself in serious trouble. Sweat out 2 percent of your stored water, and your ability to exercise or do yardwork can fall by 30 percent to 50 percent. Lose 10 percent to 15 percent, and you risk heatstroke - a potentially life-threatening condition that causes low and high blood pressure and heartbeat irregularities. So, if you work or play in the intense heat, here's how to stay safe:

Drink 16 ounces of water before going outside. Then, if you're sweating heavily, drink 16 to 32 ounces of cool fluids each hour.

Don't drink alcohol or sugary beverages; these cause you to lose more fluid.

Replace lost salts and minerals with bananas, citrus fruits, a multivitamin and electrolyte drinks. We suggest no more than 16 ounces of electrolyte drinks an hour; make the rest water.

Take regular cool-down breaks in air conditioning. And slather on the sunscreen (SPF 30); a burn amps up the heat risks!

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com.

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