Leading a physically active lifestyle helps you live a longer and healthier life.Researchers from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, claim that dementia sufferers benefit greatly from regular exercise, demonstrating improvements in cognitive functioning and their ability to perform daily activities.
Dementia is an umbrella term that covers a range of cognitive disorders characterized by memory loss and changes in personality. Since vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia (after Alzheimer's disease), by reducing the risk of cerebro-vascular disease it is possible to reduce the risk of dementia.
Some studies say Alzheimer's and other dementias may be caused by high blood pressure, since it can cause blood vessel damage through constriction.
Physical exercises help in maintaining good blood cholesterol levels, healthy body weight and normal blood pressure, all of which indirectly help in lowering the risk of developing dementia. An active lifestyle can almost halve the risk of dementia, compared to a sedentary lifestyle. The effect of physical activity is not limited to vascular effects. For instance, exercise can give rise to new neuron in the brain, as well as release a substance that protects the brain. Exercise is beneficial for physical and mental health and can help to improve the quality of life for people in all stages of dementia. It includes a wide range of physical activities from walking across the room to gardening to high-intensity workouts.
Exercise helps to improve cognition. Recent studies have shown that exercise may improve memory and slow down mental decline and even improves strength and balance, which helps to counteract the fear of falling.
A healthy lifestyle includes physical activity as part of a daily routine which will help to maintain well-being for as long as possible. Physical activity creates valuable opportunities to socialize with others and can help improve and maintain a person's independence, which is beneficial both to people with dementia and their caregivers.
Every person is unique and will have different levels of ability and certain specific physical activities that they enjoy.
Even though dementia is common among the elderly, make exercise a regular part of your life, irrespective of your age and mental health.