Suggestion for the elderly: Run from dementia — literally — regular exercise can heal the brain, according to new study

We’re all worrying about aging, especially of the fact that most old folks develop some sort of memory degeneration. If you exercise a lot, worry not – you’ll have a lower risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

A study from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) covered 8,722 older adults. Each individual had their frailty measured, comprising of 47 different types of health deficits. The frailty index included health conditions like eyesight, hearing, existence or non-existence of chronic diseases, mobility, and disability. Authored by Dorina Cadar, Andrew Steptoe, and Nina T. Rogers, the study’s aim was to identify frailty as a predictor of dementia.

The results showed that frail adults were four times more likely to be practicing unhealthy lifestyles, including living a sedentary life, smoking and drinking on a daily basis, and had more health deficits than their non-frail counterparts. Those considered frail were more likely to develop dementia than those who had active, healthy lifestyles. Conclusions of the study stated that frailty may be one of the factors of brain degeneration.

Statistics show that one out of six people in England are frail, and around 800,000 people in Britain have been diagnosed with dementia. If ignored, this number is more than likely to double by 2040, due to the aging population. Current health care providers and insurance companies do not cover disease prevention enough to educate people on risks of sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy food choices. Instead, health care only exists to attend to ailments, diseases, and illnesses that are currently happening. Unfortunately, this results in an aging population that continues with unhealthy life choices which more than likely increases the risk of developing brain-degenerative diseases.

Dementia is a global pandemic: Approximately 46.8 million people worldwide have dementia, as reported in 2015. It makes sense that a decline in memory and other cognitive functions may be the result of an unhealthy life because what is good for the heart is, of course, good for the brain. Like all our internal organs, our brains are also affected by daily sustenance. There isn’t a lack of studies on the relationship between nutrition and brain diseases, but a lack of educational information on the association for non-medical people.

What everyone needs to understand is that most chronic diseases can be avoided through a healthy lifestyle. The earlier the prevention, the better. Parents have to start teaching their kids that no matter how many genetic diseases the family has, the risks of latter-life development can still be lowered down. Choosing plant-based food over animal-based food has a significant effect on health conditions, so it should also maintain and improve already healthy individuals.

Having an active lifestyle or exercising regularly not only enhances an individual’s physical characteristics, but also trains the brain to do more. Taking regular trips to big nature such as mountains and undeveloped beaches gives stress relief to urbanized folk, and exposes them to the benefits of sunlight and clean air.

As early as now, you should have simple daily exercises to help you counteract the risk of being diagnosed with dementia. Here are some easy, no-effort exercises that can be incorporated into your daily routine:

  • Taking the stairs instead of riding elevators and escalators.
  • Walking or biking instead of taking a cab or driving to a store near your home.
  • Cooking meals instead of ordering food for delivery.
  • Visiting your community market instead of ordering for groceries online.
  • Actual window shopping instead of online shopping.
  • Putting on some lively music when you wake up in the morning to help liven up.
  • Jogging in place and stretching while watching your favorite television show.
  • Gardening helps your joints and encourages you to eat natural, healthy vegetables and fruits.
  • Visiting the park instead of malls during weekends.
  • After work, taking the stairs first and then riding the elevator a few floors down.
  • Stretching your legs and arms and rotating your head every now and then during long sitting hours at the office.

Follow more news on brain protection and Alzheimer’s prevention at

Sources include:

comments powered by Disqus