Want to Slow Down Memory Loss? Exercise

It is inevitable. As your brain ages, memory loss is more common.

Although there is no strong scientific evidence that Alzheimer’s can be prevented, a committee at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine concluded last week that a few common sense practices may help to postpone the inevitable.  They suggest controlling high blood pressure, specific memory training, and regular exercise.

“Even though clinical trials have not conclusively supported the three interventions discussed in our report, the evidence is strong enough to suggest the public should at least have access to these results to help inform their decisions about how they can invest their time and resources to maintain brain health with aging,” said Dr. Alan Leshner, chair of the committee and CEO emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Although the committee believes that the strongest evidence supports memory training, there are numerous studies that recommend consistent exercise to fight the effects of aging and, specifically, memory loss.

“Here we’re talking about modest aerobic exercise,” Petersen said. That includes brisk walking.  “How much? Maybe 150 minutes a week — 30 minutes five times, 50 minutes three times — can have an effect on reducing cognitive impairment later in life.”

Who can’t spare less than two hours a week to ward off Alzheimer’s disease?

As you age, regular exercise is more important than ever to your body and mind.  And, fitness for seniors – and those of us who are baby boomers – can be fun!

Not only is exercise is good for your heart, it’s also good for your brain. Exercising when young and fitness for seniors benefits regular brain functions and can help keep the brain active, which can prevent memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia. Any exercise that gets the heart pumping may reduce the risk of dementia and slow the condition’s progression once it starts, reports a Mayo Clinic study published in October 2011 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Additionally, exercise boosts mood and self-confidence.  It is a fact that people have a higher rate of depression as they age.  Endorphins produced by exercise can actually help you feel better and reduce feelings of sadness. Being active and feeling strong naturally helps you feel more self-confident and improves your self-image.

Now that you know the importance of exercise for the young – and the young-at-heart, I hope to see you in the gym!

As you age, staying active mentally is just as important as staying active physically. At Fitness for Health, we can help you achieve both. Our unique approach to senior wellness focuses on helping you strengthen and maintain the skills that other workouts often overlook. Learn how our Fitness for Seniors program can help you maintain weight management, increase bone and joint health and improve your cognitive abilities.