When we exercise the body, we also exercise the brain
Several studies have shown that with moderate daily exercise we can greatly affect cognitive function and slow down cognitive decline. A very exciting study from Finland found that physical activity helps protect us from dementia.The researchers found that participants who engaged in physical activity at least twice a week had a lower risk of dementia than those who were less active. The research also showed that it’s never too late to start. Becoming more physically active even after a diagnosis was shown to improve dementia outcome.
The amount of physical activity that the person get can often be one of the predictors for us on how well the person will do in treatment. Movement helps to keep the lymphatic system drained of stagnated lymphatics, it boosts many of our brain neurotransmitters as well as the feel good endorphins that lift mood.
How much exercise is necessary?
We recommend getting 45 minutes of exercise at least four days a week in order to see the cognitive benefits. In order to make sure that this is something that you will be able to commit to long-term, find an activity that you really enjoy. For some it may be walking, others may enjoy swimming. You may even find a local fitness class that you enjoy.
Making exercise part of your routine is critical to success, so spend a little time finding something that you really enjoy. If leaving the house is not possible, even putting on some favourite music and getting the body moving. Even for those with disabilities that limit movement, sometimes gentle practices like Qigong can work miracles.