Taking Physical Steps to Prevent Dementiaadmin
While brain training apps may be a popular way to combat age-related cognitive decline, the World Health Organization wants you to put the foot down and move those feet, The New York Times reports.
According to the W.H.O.’s newest evidence-based guidelines, at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week can lead to both physical and cognitive benefits. The catch? In order for this to be effective, this change in physical activity needs to take place before cognitive decline starts.
But the W.H.O. isn’t alone in making this recommendation. The New York Times highlights several studies and trials that suggested positive correlations between exercise and short-term improvements in cognitive performance, examining everything from tai chi to jogging, swimming and weight training.
There are multiple theories as to why. One study suggests that it’s not just the physical, but also social aspects of exercise that may help keep our minds active. Others argue that physical exercise helps reduce the risk of vascular dementia, as well as other ailments, such as hypertension or Type 2 diabetes, that are often associated with dementia.
“A lot of this boils down to common sense,” Mary Sano, director of research at the James J. Peters V.A. Medical Center and director of Alzheimer’s research at the Mount Siani School of Medicine, told The Times. “Keep physically and socially active, eat sensibly, don’t smoke and don’t drink to excess, and treat your treatable conditions.”
Read more here.