Exercise and Dementia

Exercise and Dementia

How Exercise Lowers Risk Factors for Dementia

Exercise has positive effects on the human body throughout every stage of life. Children need it to build strong bodies, adolescents and young adults need it to stay in shape and manage their weight, and the average adult needs it to help maintain the health and wellness of bodily systems.


Without exercise people can become overweight, have a low resistance to illness and disease, and lower stamina which can negatively affect their day to day lives.

Regular fitness allows the body to remain strong, lean and in optimal shape. Heart health is another great benefit of regular cardio workouts. But, there is more.

While the physical benefits of exercise are well known, not many people are aware of how exercise can strengthen you mentally as well.

Scientists have found that regular cardio exercise helps to prevent dementia in adults as they age. And, this is great news as dementia is a truly debilitating and dismal diagnosis.

Scientific Research into Exercise and Dementia

Scientists at the University of Eastern Finland found that dementia numbers dropped significantly for those who did some type of cardio each week.

Cardio activities include, running, walking jogging and swimming. Really it is anything that gets the heart going and the body moving.

In this study the group that exercised was much less likely to get dementia than the group that did not.

Regular exercise during and after midlife showed to be helpful for individuals to keep their weight in check, strengthen their muscles and joints, and have more energy over time.

How the Risk of Dementia is Lowered

The study also suggests that there are several modifiable risks of dementia which makes it likely that exercise could have an influential hand in whether or not this disease develops in some individuals.

Due to the varying factors, it is difficult to pinpoint groups of people who may be at high risk. The study has concluded, though, that leisure time physical activity is one of the most important factors for a few reasons.

These include the following:

  • Leisure Time Physical Activity (LTPA) has a wide effect on overall health
  • LTPA especially affects the health of the cardiovascular system
  • Engagement in LTPA effectively lowers the risk of dementia
  • The helpful effects of LTPA are enhanced in overweight and obese individuals

Becoming Physically Active After Midlife

Whether you have exercised all of your life, have done so every now and again, or have never worked out, you can still lower your risk for dementia by starting with a regular fitness routine right now.

The researchers also predict that fitness may also prevent other mental diseases.

According to the research so far, the findings were not changed or explained by the following factors:

  • Socioeconomic Background
  • Genetic Risk Factors
  • Weight Loss
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Health Status
  • Work Related Exercise

While lifelong exercise is best, the study strongly suggests that exercise interventions to prevent dementia are most effective between midlife and older age.

The type of physical exercise is not specified, but most health professionals agree that regular exercise that increases the heart rate for at least twenty minutes is good for overall health.

Get Exercising!

The findings of this study may need to be refined, but the basis of the research is certainly intact.

Regular physical activity may be able to lower the risks of dementia in old age. Middle aged individuals who exercise at least twice a week for twenty or more minutes are actually strengthening their bodies in more ways than they know.

Overweight and obese people may benefit the most from these findings so it is important to find an exercise plan and begin straight away.

Walking, jogging, running, biking, swimming and more are all great ways to help lower the risk of dementia while strengthening the body.

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