Dementia risk and the benefits of regular exercise

08 May 2019

Having a regular exercise regime will provide many benefits including lowering the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity – all of which are risk factors for dementia.

By doing a small amount of exercise each day, individuals could significantly improve their overall health and wellbeing.

According to the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, regular physical exercise can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 50 percentWhat’s more, exercise can also slow further deterioration in those who have already started to develop cognitive problems. Exercise protects against Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia by stimulating the brain’s ability to maintain old connections as well as make new ones.

The NHS recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. Anything that raises the heartbeat and gets muscles moving is exercise that can improve overall health. Aerobic activities could include walking, swimming, dancing or even chair based exercise.

“There’s no certain way to prevent all types of dementia – researchers are still investigating how the disease develops,” said the NHS.

“However, there’s good evidence that a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of developing dementia when you’re older.”

As well as aerobic activity, incorporating strengthening exercises into a regime will also be of benefit such as gardening or yoga. Yoga is one of the best exercises to lower dementia risk, according to medical website HelpGuide, as it boosts balance and co-ordination skills, helping to limit falls.

Head injuries from falls are an increasing risk as people age, which in turn increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The factors that seem to affect people’s risk include age at the time of the injury and the severity of the injury.

Exercise is a proven way to prevent falls, by strengthening the muscles that keep people upright and improve their balance. When people exercise, they get stronger. When they get stronger, they fall less. When they have strong legs, if they do fall, they’re more protected.

You can read more about how to prevent falls in our trips, slips and falls at home blog.

Promedica24 carers are trained in dementia care and can ensure that your loved one is getting all the support they need to live life as independently and comfortably as possible.

You can find out more about our dementia care on our website, or please get in touch with our friendly team on 0800 086 8686 or email find out more about how we can support your family.

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