(Natural News) A lot has been said about exercise. Studies have confirmed its many health benefits. One of the many aspects of exercise that needs constant emphasis is that it does more than just help build muscle; it also helps protect from various long-term degenerative conditions.
One of the best examples of conditions that exercise protects against is Alzheimer’s disease. This neurodegenerative condition is just one of several diseases that are collectively classified as dementia. Although its signs usually manifest as a person approaches the senior years, factors like one’s prior diet and physical activity can have an impact on the risks of developing the disease.
The ability of exercise to curb the risk of Alzheimer’s is well-documented. In one study, researchers followed up on 600 elderly women after six to eight years and found that those who walked the most had the least likelihood of experiencing cognitive decline.
Another large study on older women confirmed these findings, indicating that higher levels of long-term regular exercise can not only mitigate cognitive decline but also improve overall cognitive function. According to the researchers, those who exercise regularly are seemingly three years younger than their actual age.
But even among those who already have the disease, physical activities never stop offering brain-boosting benefits. In a study that involved patients diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s, those who lived an active life performed better than their sedentary peers in cognitive tests. In fact, those who walked at least two hours every week demonstrated significantly improved scores in the said tests.
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But while most forms of exercise are good for the brain, they are not all equally so. Some provide benefits that others don’t and may be more appropriate for people with different targets or needs. Psychology Today recommends these exercise tips for optimal brain health and function:
Having a chronic disease should never discourage anyone from exercising. Different health conditions may require a specific regimen, so it’s best to ask one’s healthcare specialist for recommendations. Here are other chronic conditions improved by regular exercise:
Learn more about how the brain can benefit from exercise at Brain.news.