Earlier research have already linked common cardio train and lowered cognitive decline. One 2021 examine printed within the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that aerobic exercise reduces global cognitive decline and recommends exercise to be used as adjuvant therapy for Alzheimer’s disease. Study authors also point to other research linking aerobic exercise and improved physical function, as well as behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.
Although researchers are still learning how exercise can benefit cognitive decline, it is currently believed that increased flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain can improve health and blood vessels and benefit brain function, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Nevertheless, with plenty of research pointing to the benefits of exercise on brain health, the EXERT study was meant to not only look at the connection, but also the specific type of exercises that work for cognitive decline—and if exercise intensity mattered at all.
The EXERT study had participants committing to 30 to 45 minutes of exercise during four days of the week, and the exercises varied. Whether it was vigorous workouts on the treadmill or stretching exercises to get the blood flowing, consistent exercises were shown to benefit brain shrinkage and MCI over time.
However, Baker points out that MCI effects on the brain can make it harder for people to regularly stick to an activity. She found that social stimulation was a key to seeing participants complete over 100 hours of exercise, according to the Associated Press. Social interaction alone has been linked to improved cognitive function, so having a buddy to hold you accountable and to make the activity enjoyable can help keep the brain sharp.
Along with a regular exercise routine, here are 50 Everyday Habits That Reduce Your Risk of Dementia.
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