Exercise to prevent dementia

Does exercise prevent dementia?

Sometimes, it is a part of getting older: dementia.

"You can't necessarily remember things, or things don't come to you as quickly as they used to," says Natalie Olorundami Hughes, Wellness Specialist with Mercy Medical Center.

But studies have shown that exercise is possibly contributing to slowing down the onset of dementia.

This includes physical exercises, like strength training, yoga, and cardiovascular exercise, and mind exercises, like word puzzles.

"Anything to keep the brain moving," says Hughes, "So exercise can be very wide range when you think of it in those terms."

In the modern world, we are constantly connected, and these mind exercise games can even be on our phones or tablets. Or the exercise can be simple day to day activities, like playing games with your grandchildren.

"We've heard that saying if you don't use it, you lose it," says Hughes. "We are not always being challenged as much as we have been, as far as making your mind having to think like that, especially as you get older and retire."

If you want to begin a physical exercise plan, it is always best to talk with your doctor to find safe ways to exercise.

"Exercise in general helps us, whether that is preventing diabetes, increasing cardiovascular endurance, decreasing your risk for heart disease," says Hughes. "At the end of the day, exercise is going to be beneficial to you."


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