Cardio Exercise Can Help Save Your Brain
The older we get, the less important it is whether we are a size 3 or 9.
But I bet you do care if you can find your car keys and have the ability to interact with friends, travel- and enjoy life.
That is why getting enough physical exercise is one of the four key factors for preventing Alzheimer's and related dementias.
Science has shown for years that cardio exercise is good for your heart health and helps prevent cardiovascular disease.
Now we also know that cardio exercise is good for your brain!
Even better- regular exercise slows an aging brain's decline and can even reverse age-related cognitive decline.
That's great news if you are already exercising.
However, only 10% of the population exercise on a regular basis of 3 or more times a week.
Do you? If not- consider these facts:
1- People who exercise score better on mental tests than those who don't.
2- Exercise prompts structural changes in the brain- spurring the growth of new brain cells and connections between cells.
3- Aerobic exercise increases the flow of oxygen to the brain that helps build tiny blood vessels and capillaries that pave the way for the growth of new brain cells.
4- Exercise is a stress reliever- and helps reduce toxic stress chemicals in the brain.
Research shows that exercise of at least 15 minutes per day three times a week or more -- can help older people significantly delay or reduce their risks of developing Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
That means your exercise routine need not be long and overly strenuous- you just need to start! More of course is better- but realize that your brain benefits even from a short, regular amount of walking that increases the heart rate.
Do you have a pair of these somewhere in your closet?
It's all you need to get started!
No need to join a gym- just start walking!
If you rest- you rust!
More research details and the benefits of exercise are covered in my book in Chapter 13: To Sharpen the Brain- Hone the Body
Click here to get your copy today!
Socialize When You Exercise
Research shows that the most effective exercises are physical activities that blend exercise with a mental task and a social component.
Consider walking with a group of friends to blend your exercise with socialization.
It doesn't matter if you are walking outside- or in a mall- just start moving!
Bad Weather Outdoors?
There are mall walking programs sprouting up everywhere!
Baby boomers and seniors alike are headed to the mall to fend off cariovascular disease- Alzheimer's- and more.
Chances are a mall near you has a program that opens the mall prior to business hours that will allow you to walk no matter what the season or weather conditions are outside.
Best of all- no cost to you!
Resistance Training is Good Too!
Although aerobic forms of exercise provide more blood flow to the brain- they do little to strengthen your bones.
You need strong bones so that you can continue moving your body throughout your golden years.
Weak bones and painful joints equal reduced mobility and your not walking.
I have seen many patients go through a depressive mood disorder when they lose their mobility and have to start using a cane, a walker, or worse- confined to a wheelchair.
Don't let this happen to you!
It can be as simple as a calisthenics routine in your home (pushups, situps, etc.)-or even joining a fitness club.
If you are a senior- many clubs such as 24 Hour Fitness or the local YMCA have a 'Senior Sneakers' program that costs very little and are well worth looking into.
Meet Mr.Tom Pullen
World War II veteran Tom Pullen still does 100 push ups a day!
He's still in top shape both physically and mentally for a man in his late 80s.
I asked him to what he attributes his successful aging.
"A positive attitude, exercising, eating healthy, and living right."
Tom has been a member of the choir at Trinity United Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina ever since I was just a kid- and still going strong!
Now if a WWII veteran can still pump out 100 pushups a day- what are you doing for your brain and heart health?
Just so you know-
I'm not another fat doctor telling you how you should live-
below is me practicing what I preach!
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