There is plenty of evidence to support the fact that regular exercise can ward off depression, reduce or eliminate anxiety and stress as well as offering many other mental, physical and emotional health benefits. That research is now also finding that it may prevent dementia is probably not a big surprise.
A loss of brain function is something that few of us would choose to cope with, no matter how old we are. While we’d like to live a longer life, losing the ability to remember our friends and family members or even perform basic tasks is a very difficult challenge to face, not only for those who experience it but also for those who love them.
The clear message that was published just last week in the Annals of Internal Medicine was that if you want to prevent dementia, you need to become physically active.
With one in eight Americans 65 and older affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia related issues, if you could do something to prevent this happening later in life, wouldn’t you?
While it wasn’t the first research to prove a relationship between fitness and brain health, this study was said to be the largest and most comprehensive, and really, it just seems to make common sense.
Those who tend to be couch potatoes, obviously age faster on the outside. A fit 50-year-old often looks younger than an unfit 40-year-old or even someone much younger. Their muscles are stronger, they have less fat and in general their bodies tend to run better – their insides are healthier and there is no reason the brain should be excluded in this.
The study found that those who were the most fit in middle age were up to 36 percent less likely to develop dementia.
The authors of the study believe that one of the reasons for the connection between brain health and fitness is that it reduces the risk of diabetes and hypertension, which have already been established risk factors for dementia. Greater fitness levels are also associated with greater brain volume, better cognitive function and improved blood flow to the brain.
If you needed another excuse to get up and move, this is a good one. Get up and dance, go for a walk, a bike ride or a run; whatever you do, just start moving!
How will you incorporate physical activity into your day to boos your brain health?
– The Alternative Daily