The relationship between exercise and dementia

There is still a great deal that is not known about dementia but there does appear to be a link between exercise and the ability to delay its onset.

According to the Alzheimers Society there have been several studies that appeared to show that taking regular physical exercise may be one of the best things that you can do to reduce your risk of getting dementia.

Exercise in middle age, not only physical – such as aerobic exercise which increases your heart rate – but mental exercise – such as getting involved in games, puzzles, and other types of brain training – are both thought to play a part in delaying the onset of dementia.

According to Webmd “One study involved more than 2,800 adults 65 and older. They went to up to 10 hour-long brain-training sessions for 5 to 6 weeks.” The sessions focused on Memory, Reasoning and Speed of processing information and involved 2,800 adults 65 and older. It was reported: “People who took the training showed improvement in these skills that lasted for at least 5 years.”

While there is no certain way to prevent all types of dementia, according to the NHS, “there’s good evidence that a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of developing dementia when you’re older.” It says: “a lack of regular physical activity can increase your risk of heart disease, becoming overweight or obese, and type 2 diabetes, which are all linked to a higher risk of dementia. Older adults who do not exercise are also more likely to have problems with memory or thinking (known as cognitive ability).” It recommends doing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, such as brisk walking, cycling or dancing.

Clearly there is more work to be done in understanding dementia but it is already known that there is a link between taking regular exercise and delaying the condition.