The Role of Exercise in Preventing Cognitive Changes and Dementia

Exercise Preventing

It has been well established that physical activity can play an instrumental role in improving physical health, however, recent studies have demonstrated the importance of exercise in the prevention of cognitive changes and dementia. Exercise has been linked to improved memory, attention span, and increased brain volume in both younger and elderly populations. This blog post will outline research demonstrating the impact of exercise on preventing cognitive changes and dementia, and provide evidence of the health benefits associated with regular physical activity.

Exercise & Cognitive Changes

Studies involving both humans and animals have highlighted the role of exercise in preventing cognitive changes. In one study involving lab rats, groups of animals who were made to run more often had better neural connections than those who exercised less. The difference in the neural connections was such that the rats who exercised more experienced fewer age-related impairments.

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Similar results have been seen in humans. Studies on elderly individuals have shown that regular exercise can lead to mental stimulation, improved short-term memory, and increased brain volume. Research has further indicated that exercise can be beneficial in delaying the onset of age-related cognitive deficits.

Exercise & Dementia

A study conducted by the University of California found that regular exercise may help to reduce the chances of an individual developing dementia. The study used data from approximately one thousand individuals, and found that those who exercised at least three times a week had significantly lower rates of dementia-related death than those who did not.

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It is believed that the benefits of exercise on the brain have to do with increased oxygen and nutrient delivery to the cells. Exercise has also been seen to increase the number of supportive cells such as astrocytes and microglia, which help to protect nerve cells in the brain.

Exercise & Health Benefits

In addition to its role in preventing cognitive changes and dementia, regular exercise has also been found to have significant health benefits. Exercise improves cardiovascular health and can reduce an individual’s risk of developing diabetes, hypertension, and stroke. Regular physical activity has also been found to reduce the risk of depression and anxiety, and improve an individual’s overall mood.

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It is clear that exercise can play an important role in preventing cognitive changes and dementia. The evidence supports the role of regular physical activity in reducing the risk of age-related cognitive impairments, as well as reducing the likelihood of developing dementia. Furthermore, exercise can have significant health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health and a lowered risk of developing diabetes and hypertension. Thus, making exercise a part of one’s daily routine is essential for preserving cognitive health and physical wellbeing.