The best time to start incorporating physical activity into your routine is now, according to experts. Physical activity may help reduce the risk of dementia developing.

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For a prospective cohort research that was published in July 2022, the health records of more than 500,000 individuals who were not suffering from dementia at the time of recruitment were examined throughout an 11-year period. Participants filled out questionnaires outlining their participation in physical activity. Based on their family history, their propensity for dementia was also monitored.

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For those who regularly engaged in strenuous activities like exercise and sports, the risk of dementia fell by 35%. Additionally, performing routine domestic activities seems to cut the risk by 21%.

According to Huan Song, one of the study’s authors, even persons whose genetic histories were associated with possible risks of dementia might employ physical activity to reduce their susceptibility.

Dan Jonhenry, franchise business coach and specialist trainer for Retro Fitness, claims that physical activity can only serve as a preventative measure against the onset of dementia.

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There is currently no cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s, so maintaining good health is more of a preventative tactic, according to Jonhenry.


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Six exercises to help lower dementia risk

According to Jonhenry and Silky Singh Pahlajani, a clinical professor of behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine, there are a few activities you might want to add to your routine.

Running or power-running

cycling or using an exercise bike

Swimming

Running

cardio equipment such as the elliptical

Interval training

What is healthy for the heart is healthy for the brain.

Cardio can improve brain health and memory retention more than other workout types, according to Pahlajani.

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What’s good for the heart is excellent for the brain, I constantly remind my patients, adds Pahlajani. The main objective is to increase heart rate at least three to four times per week for at least 30 minutes.

According to Jonhenry, doing moderate aerobic activity at 70% of your maximum heart rate will assist your body receive oxygen to brain cells. According to him, this regulates blood flow and provides nutrition to your brain’s tissues.

To find out if you’ve reached 70%, use a heart rate monitor to watch your heart rate.

If you want to increase your heart rate, you may need to move differently from the person next to you, but Pahlajani advises that you should try any exercise that makes you sweat.

Try to mix things up a bit, advises Jonhenry, and find mentally challenging hobbies you can engage in. “Find a hobby that keeps you busy while also advancing your knowledge and learning. They have discovered that this is really beneficial for brain health.

According to Pahlajani, social interaction has also been associated with good brain health. “Physical activity is important, and we also don’t want to diminish the benefits of social stimulation since they work in tandem. Therefore, it’s crucial to carry out both tasks and, if at all feasible, have them interact.

According to Pahlajani, you can still benefit from exercise even if you’re older and it may even help lessen your risk of developing dementia. In actuality, the prospective cohort study’s participants’ median age at the time of recruitment was close to 56 years old.

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Getting in shape may be started at any time, anywhere, according to Pahlajani. Start out cautiously, then advance your way.”

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