Exercise Can Help Prevent Dementia
By Holly Klamer
There is no known cure or prevention yet for Alzheimer’s disease and other cases of dementia. As it happens, it’s quite difficult to know these aspects when the sources and causes have remained unknown. But, based on research, there are ways that one can lower the risks of developing dementia as time passes by.
Introduction to Dementia
Dementia, by definition as per Alzheimer’s Association, is basically an overall term for diseases or conditions that involve the apparent decline of one’s brain functions. These may include language, memory, skills, and other things that may affect the ability to perform day-to-day activities. With this at hand, Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common causes of dementia.
About 60 to 80 percent of cases of dementia are related to memory loss, as suggested by the same organization. But, even so, there are still other causes that can be accounted for dementia.
According to the World Health Organization, about 50 million individuals of today’s population are living with dementia. It is also projected for the number to increase by three times in the next few decades. This is why awareness and comprehension of the condition are largely emphasized in recent times, both inside and outside dementia care homes for seniors. In other words, dementia is a “public health priority.”
Cure and Prevention
While science and technology have been improving and advancing as time passes by, there is no known cure yet for dementia. As per NHS, it is “unlikely” that there will be a single cure for the condition. This is because the causes are either unknown or too many to regard.
Whatever the case, though, experts continue to seek for answers toward finding the cure. There are several studies today that are actually making huge improvements, as attested by the same platform. But, among all of the studies, it has been found that there are practical ways to lower and decrease the risks of having dementia.
These ways normally involve lifestyle habits, health care, and holistic care for self-improvement. And above all of the aspects, exercise became the most significant practice to decrease the risk of dementia.
Exercise Helps Prevent Dementia
It is worth noting that there is a huge difference between ‘exercising that prevents dementia’ and ‘exercising that helps to stay physically fit’. Although many are looking forward to learning more about the former, case studies and research today are more inclined toward the latter.
Apparently, several studies have concluded that exercises and physical activities can help prevent dementia.
Exercising Affects Brain Metabolism
In a study conducted at Goethe University Frankfurt, researchers concluded that exercising affects brain metabolism. It is found that regular physical activities “prevented” the increase of choline.
As established, choline is a metabolite that normally shows an increase in concentration, especially when the patient has Alzheimer’s disease. This is because the rise in the concentration of choline is a result of an increase in the loss of nerve cells.
The study has proven that exercising daily “led” to a more stable choline concentration. As a result, cells are protected, which only goes to show that exercising impacts brain metabolism.
Exercising Increases Blood and Oxygen Flow
Dementia Care Central recently released a series of notes on how to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related conditions. The most apparent point on the list is physical activity and exercise.
Based on the platform’s assertions, having a healthy brain makes it much harder for Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of dementia to happen. The reason being is that regular exercise increases the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the brain and the body.
As a result, abnormal brain changes and cognitive impairment are less likely to happen, the same way the physical body can protect itself from diseases through exercise. This is why many assisted living facilities always include physical activities and exercises in their daily schedules.
Exercising Prevents Brain Aging
As people age, the risks of having dementia increases. While it is not deemed normal for dementia to happen to seniors, the trend shows that dementia is more rampant to older individuals.
The most probable reason behind this is due to the fact that, as you age, the brain also ages. This means that impairment and decline are much more apparent.
But, in the study titled Physical Exercise As A Preventive or Disease-Modifying Treatment of Dementia and Brain Aging, it has been concluded that regular exercise can naturally slow down brain aging. It is also contended that people who have dementia, but regularly exercise, had significantly reduced the rate of mortality.
Best Exercises to Help Prevent Dementia
There are several exercises and physical activities that one can do to help prevent dementia. But, among all, here are the best ones:
- Restorative Yoga
- Functional Training
- Aquatic Exercise
- Tai Chui
It is also noted by many experts that doing these activities two to three times per week can already offer significant results.
All in all, dementia, along with all the other diseases that fall under the umbrella condition, is truly challenging and even daunting. Thankfully, experts of today are eager to solve the never-ending problem of this condition. As a result, preventive measures and possible beneficial practices to decrease the risk are now being discovered.