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Aerobic exercise dementia

Can Aerobic Exercise Prevent Dementia?

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Can aerobic exercise prevent dementia? According to new research, it can! Aerobic exercise also known as cardio is known for improving cardiovascular health. But there are more health benefits to aerobic exercise than just your heart. A new study found that aerobic exercise can reduce your risk of developing dementia. People who are more physically active are less likely to experience mental decline and have better cognitive function. Cognitive function is our memory, thinking and judgment skills.

Physical activity helps your brain by maintaining blood flow to it, which stimulates brain cell growth and survival. The hippocampus, the area of the brain involved in memory, increases in size when individuals are physically active. Aerobics also increases chemicals in your brain that protects it from dementia. There are other factors of physical activity that reduces our risk of developing cognitive disorders. People who exercise regularly are less likely to have heart disease or stroke, which are both risk factors for dementia. Moreover, exercising reduces our risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension and depression, which are all risk factors for dementia.

What are good aerobic exercises?

Aerobic exercises are performed at a moderate level of intensity. Your heart rate should be elevated. It is recommended to perform it at least 30 minutes a day, between 3 to 5 days a week. There are plenty of aerobic exercise options, which means it should be easy to find something you enjoy doing every day. This includes:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Elliptical or ski machine

Physical activity can also be your daily activity, such as cleaning your house, cooking or gardening. Research found that daily activities can reduce your risk of developing dementia as well.

Click here to learn more about Ochsner’s Brain Health and Cognitive Disorders Program.

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