Of all the lifestyle changes that have been studied, regular physical exercise appears to be one of the best things that you can do to reduce your risk of getting dementia. Get Moving Studies have shown that aerobic exercise (exercise that increases your heart rate) in middle-aged and older adults has resulted in improvements in thinking and memory, and reduced rates of dementia. Several studies have looked at middle-aged people and the effects of physical exercise on their thinking and memory in later life. The results of combined studies indicate that regular exercise can significantly reduce the risk of developing dementia by about 30 per cent. For Alzheimer's disease specifically, the risk was reduced by 45 per cent.
Aerobic exercise can also improve the performance of healthy adults on thinking tests. A month or more of regular aerobic exercise resulted in improvements in memory, attention and processing speed when compared with regular non-aerobic exercise such as stretching and toning in clinical trials.
Add Resistance Training “The journal Neurology just published a study of nearly 700 people in their early 70s. Those with a more active lifestyle had less anatomical brain shrinkage and better cognitive function than the couch potatoes. Overall, physical activity accounted for 6 to 20% of the variation in mental ability in this group. It wasn’t only aerobic activity that was important, although cardio does help maintain the health of blood vessels that supply the heart and brain. Resistance training also provided protection. For older men and particularly women, who are less likely to engage in resistance training, this is important. We don’t know why it works. We just know that it does.” Dr Sanjay Gupta, Along with controlling your blood pressure, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and maintain strong social support networks. Just make sure you move, because physical exercise may offer just the greatest return on investment!