Preventing & Managing Dementia with Exercise
Were you at out Let’s Talk: Brain Health presentation with Sophie last month? We’ve summarised some of the key takeaways regarding exercise and dementia below:
What is dementia?
Dementia is an umbrella term for a collection of symptoms involving the progressive loss in mental and physical function. The main parts of the brain affected by dementia are the temporal lobe, frontal lobe and pariental lobe. Currently 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 suffer from dementia. This calls a need for preventative action.
What are the risk factors for developing dementia?
Certain health and lifestyle factors play a role in a person’s risk of developing dementia. These include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, depression, smoking, physical inactivity, social isolation and stroke.
What role does exercise play in reducing your risk?
A recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease suggested that exercise may keep the brain healthy. This is because it can help slow deterioration of white matter in the brain. White matter is the “computer cables” of the brain. It connects various parts of the brain and allows these parts of the brain to communicate and engage in critical thinking and planning. This means preventing white matter deterioration is imperative. Additionally, human and animal studies have shown that aerobic exercise stimulates the release of growth hormones that may improve brain function.
What is the best exercise for brain health?
Whilst all forms of exercise are beneficial in achieving healthy ageing, experts agree that aerobic exercise is best. This can include walking, biking, dancing, sports and even household chores, such as mopping!