The role of exercise in preventing dementia is now definitive. As the prevalence of dementia is expected to reach 135 million people by 2050 (in the USA), the need to reduce the risk of dementia is essential. Dementia affects brain functioning, diminishing your ability to think and perform simple daily tasks. Dementia can reduce your independence and your quality of life, so it is often the most feared aspect of ageing.
A longitudinal study conducted by Cardiff University has found exercise to be the single biggest influence on diminishing dementia levels in men. The study, which began in 1979 and has spanned 35 years, identified five factors to help avoid dementia and chronic diseases. These included:
TIPS FOR DEMENTIA PREVENTION AND A HEALTHY LIFE
- Active Brain: Undertake brain challenges by playing problem-solving games like Sudoku, and by being socially active.
- Active Body: Consuming a healthy and wholesome diet, and engaging in regular exercise is critical to the health of your body, and is also essential for optimal brain function.
- Active Heart: Looking after the heart is important - if it's good for the heart, it's good for the brain! Try to avoid smoking, and manage blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and body weight within healthy ranges. The most effective and efficient management strategy for these conditions is regular exercise!