Reducing Alzheimer's risk is as easily as taking a single breath.

Recent finding: For 29 years, researchers monitored the lung capacities of 1,291 women with tests that measure exhalation rates.

Result: The better the lung function in middle age, the lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's later in life.

Theory: Poor lung function decreases the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain, raising the risk for Alzheimer's.

To maintain optimal lung function: Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week—and don't smoke.

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