Chris Hemsworth faces a major health shock that turns his whole life upside down

Byron Bay, Australia - Thor star Chris Hemsworth does a lot to keep fit and healthy. But maintaining one's physical fitness can't always protect against disease, as he recently learned.

Chris Hemsworth rose to fame by playing the role of the action hero Thor.
Chris Hemsworth rose to fame by playing the role of the action hero Thor.  © IMAGO/Mary Evans

Lots of exercise and a healthy, balanced diet is usually the key to staying fit. After all, nothing comes from nothing. The Australian actor obviously takes this to heart as well, as you can see on his Instagram channel.

He and his wife Elsa have always maintained a healthy lifestyle hare pictures and videos of their activities.

However, a few months ago he and his family received bad news. In a recent interview with Fitbook, the Thor actor recently revealed he's at high risk of developing Alzheimer's disease one day.

Lizzo hits back at Kamala Harris haters: "Ain't the take u think it us"
Lizzo Lizzo hits back at Kamala Harris haters: "Ain't the take u think it us"

This is due to the gene APOE4, of which the 39-year-old carries two copies, a variant of apolipoprotein E, which is the largest known genetic risk factor for the disease.

In simplified terms, this means that the risk of developing Alzheimer's in the father of a daughter and two sons is up to 15 times higher than in people who do not carry the gene.

According to the report, Hemsworth learned this last fall during the filming of the documentary series, Limitless. Although this was initially a shock, the gene doesn't guarantee Hemsworth will contract this form of dementia.

Chris Hemsworth doesn't let the health news get him down

Chris Hemsworth's health news led him to change a few habits.
Chris Hemsworth's health news led him to change a few habits.  © Collage: OLEKSANDR GIMANOV & JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP

The actor didn't let the health news get him down, and he picked up a lot of tips on how to actively protect brain health. "By doing this, not only do I keep my brain healthy, but I can also prevent all kinds of other chronic diseases and live a healthier and happier life," he said in the interview.

Although eating healthy and getting enough exercise was nothing new for him, there were some things he felt compelled to change.

"What was new for me was realizing the importance of stress management and better sleep," said 2014's "Sexiest Man Alive," adding that he normally lives on high adrenaline, and that he only now understands how important adequate sleep is, including for life expectancy.

Kylie Jenner drops more dreamy Venice pics: "Doesn't really get any better than this"
Kylie Jenner Kylie Jenner drops more dreamy Venice pics: "Doesn't really get any better than this"

"Sleep is therefore probably the biggest change in my life. Also, I now take moments to really be alone. I'm trying to stop feeling like I have to do something all the time and enjoy more moments of stillness," Hemsworth said.

Hemsworth is currently on a press tour for his film, Extraction 2, which will be available June 16 via Netflix.

Cover photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP

More on Celebrities: