Can Exercise Reduce Risk For Dementia?

You don’t have to be a senior to understand the problems faced by both the patient and family of people with dementia. In fact, probably everyone in Auburn, WA, has witnessed a loved one, friend of the family or personal friend disappear into its oblivion. It is often a condition seniors fear most. Science is learning more and more about ways to reduce risk for dementia, including Alzheimer’s. One of those ways is through exercise, which also helps people stay healthier in other ways, so they can enjoy life more.

It’s obvious that exercise can help boost circulation, but how does that help?

A large portion of dementia comes from a condition called vascular dementia, which often occurs after a stroke. It indicates the vessels in the brain are clogged or damaged. Not only does exercise help reduce the risk of stroke by lowering blood pressure, but it also reduces the risk by keeping weight down and preventing obesity, another leading cause of stroke. Physical activity is linked to increased blood flow to the brain and improved cognitive functioning. Increased blood flow helps keep blood vessels healthier in the brain.

It’s all about staying active both physically and mentally.

Whether it’s doing household chores, going out for the day or regularly exercising, it’s about staying active. Learning new ways to move the body, such as learning yoga and new dance steps, can also keep the brain more active and create new neural paths. In fact, staying active reduced the risk of dementia by as much as 35%

What are the best activities that lower the risk of dementia?

It turns out that vigorous physical activity came in at top score with the risk being lowered by 35%. Next in line was people who did household chores, reducing the risk by 21%. Finally, visiting with friends and family lowered the risk by 15%, according to a ten-year study of over 500,000 people. The study, published in Neurology, a professional journal, used participants whose average age was 56 and who had never been diagnosed with dementia. The study even factored in genetic factors to arrive at the conclusion.

  • Even if you don’t exercise now, it’s never too late to start. All types of exercise are good for the brain. While it can’t reverse Alzheimer’s, exercise has been proven to slow the atrophy of the brain.
  • All types of exercise are important. Strength and balance training helps prevent falls that may cause inactivity. Aerobic training is important for circulation. Interval training showed the most benefit.
  • If you choose walking as your form of exercise, go outside when it’s possible, instead of using a treadmill. It can boost vitamin D levels. Alternating your pace from brisk to recovery and back also boosts benefits.
  • Besides exercise, staying hydrated and eating healthy are also important. Seniors dehydrate faster and it can cause symptoms similar to dementia. A healthy diet keeps blood vessels healthy and can lower the risks of stroke.

For more information, contact us today at Targeted Nutrition Technologies