Exercise Reduces Dementia

Exercise Reduces Dementia   

Happy New Year!  Now who has made this New Year's Resolution to exercise more.  Well here is another reason to stick with the promise you made to yourself.  Exercise has long been established as a way to keep the body young, strong and healthy.

Poor physical performance on activities including walking was associated with increased odds of dementia in a study of individuals 90 years and older, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Neurology.

"In summary, similar to younger elderly populations, our study found that poor physical performance is associated with increased odds of dementia in the oldest old. The establishment of this association may serve as a major stepping stone to further investigate whether poor physical performance is in the causal pathway and a potentially modifiable risk factor for late-age dementia," the authors conclude.

A recent study's findings confirm that regular exercise reduces dementia in older men and women.  The study looked at whether physical activity could interfere with progression for cognitive impairment and dementia in older people with white matter changes living independently.  The study, published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, found that older, non-disabled people who regularly engaged in physical activity reduced their risk of vascular-related dementia by 40 percent and cognitive impairment of any etiology by 60 percent.

 The protective effect of regular physical activity remained regardless of age, education, changes in the brain's white matter and even previous history of stroke or diabetes, researchers said.  The conclusion is Physical activity reduces the risk of cognitive impairment, mainly vascular dementia, in older people living independently. 

With all the positives that come with regular exercise, it is a wonder that so many of us fail to do it.  The lame excuses of "not enough time," or "I hate to go to the gym" should not prevent any of us from doing exercise.  So if you made a New Year's resolution to get healthy in 2013, stick to it.  It is one of my resolutions and I intend to stick with it.

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