Nothing protects the brain quite like regular exercise. Not crossword puzzles, supplements, or medications – exercise beats them all – reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s or cognitive decline by about 35% to 45%. In a recent Los Angeles Times article (“Why exercise is the best medicine for your brain”), Jennifer Heisz, a cognitive neuroscientist, believes that with regular exercise, “we have control over our dementia risk.” According to Teresa Liu-Ambrose, director of the Aging, Mobility and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of British Columbia, exercise is “like investing in a retirement fund for the brain.” Also, exercise helps prevent hypertension and diabetes, which are two major risk factors for dementia.
No particular type of exercise appears necessary. According to Dr. Heisz, about 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous exercise each week is a reasonable goal. Surely, you can manage that right? It just may help you avoid dementia.