6 exercises to keep your brain active and lower your risk of dementia
Physical exercise may help reduce the chance of dementia onset, and doctors believe the best time to start incorporating it into your routine is now.
For almost 11 years, the health information of over 500,000 people who did not have dementia when recruited was evaluated for a prospective cohort study to be published in July 2022. Participants were invited to complete questionnaires indicating their participation in physical activities. Their dementia risk was also tracked based on family history.
People who regularly engaged in intense activities such as exercise and sports had a 35% lower risk of acquiring dementia. Regular household duties appeared to lessen the risk by 21%.
Even patients whose genetic histories were associated with increased dementia risk could benefit from physical activity, according to Huan Song, one of the study’s authors.
According to Dan Jonhenry, franchise business coach and professional trainer for Retro Fitness, physical exercise can only be a preventative measure for the onset of dementia.
“It’s more of a preventative step in remaining healthy before it’s too late,” adds Jonhenry, “since there is currently no cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s.”
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6 exercises that help lower your risk of dementia
According to Jonhenry and Silky Singh Pahlajani, clinical professor of behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine, here are some activities to consider adding to your routine.
1. Circuit training
2. Power Walking
4. Riding a bicycle
5. Cardio machines
Cardiovascular activity, according to Pahlajani, can contribute the most to brain health and memory retention.
“What’s good for the heart is excellent for the brain,” Pahlajani regularly tells her patients. According to experts, “the idea really is to get the heart rate up, at least for 30 minutes, and at least three to four times a week.”
According to Jonhenry, moderate aerobic activity at 70% of your maximum heart rate can assist your body receives oxygen to brain cells. He continues, “This gives your brain tissues nutrients and regulates blood flow.”
To establish if you’ve reached the 70% level, use a heart rate monitor to watch your heart rate.
Elevating your heart rate may need different motions for you than for the next person, but a decent rule of thumb is any activity that causes you to sweat, according to Pahlajani.
“Try to mix it up a little bit and find brain-engaging stuff you can do,” Jonhenry suggests. Look for something that will keep you on your feet and expanding your horizons intellectually. That’s what they’re discovering is incredibly beneficial to brain health.”
According to Pahlajani, social interaction has also been related to better brain health. Physical exercise has its own benefits, but we shouldn’t disregard the value of interacting with other people. So it’s critical to do both and, if feasible, have them cross paths and intertwine.”
According to Pahlajani, even if you’re older, you can still receive the benefits of exercising, including perhaps lowering your risk of dementia. At the time of enrollment, the median age of the prospective cohort study participants was roughly 56 years old.
Pahlajani encourages people to “start somewhere, anywhere, any day” when it comes to their fitness routines. Begin cautiously and work your way ahead.”
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