Studies are showing that exercising regularly increases blood flow and improves the generation of new neurons in the area of our brain responsible for long-term memory. And with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia on the rise in the United States, exercise could be one component of lowering risk for developing dementia. According to the Harvard Health Blog, there is a new case of dementia detected every 4 seconds around the globe. Instead – get smarter by exercising!
Working on preventing brain disease can start at any age, and luckily, you can even get benefits when you’re in your senior years. Putting consistent time and energy into exercising regularly is a great preventive measure for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. A 2009 study in the journal Gerontology suggests that regular exercise across one’s lifespan can help with cognitive function.
In a 2012 study, researchers found that female participants showing signs of early dementia who engaged in weight training showed significant improvements in both memory and executive functions, as well as more neural activity in the brain following weight training.
Aerobic exercise is also important, as it stimulates neurogenesis (the birth of new neurons) in the brain. The hippocampus, an area in the brain responsible for long-term memory, showed increased neurogenesis following a 7-week regimen of sustained aerobic activity, according to a recent study in the Journal of Physiology.
While reversing dementia, Alzheimer’s and other cognitive diseases would be wonderful, it’s not possible at this time, but regular exercise has been shown to slow down dementia progression and improve brain function. If you aren’t currently exercising and want to start, start small! If you can’t get through the whole workout today, just do what you can. Each time you exercise, you will get stronger and gain more endurance. Try to stick with it!
Photo from here, with thanks.