Fitness can reduce the possibility of Dementia as we grow older

Everyone knows that if you take care of your body, it would take care of you. You would not only look good, but you would also have a strong body as well. It is said that people suffer from dementia as they get older, but exercise can reduce that.

In 1968, Swedish researchers evaluated the cardiovascular fitness of 191 women ages 38 to 60, testing their endurance with an ergometer cycling test. Then they examined them periodically through 2012. Over the years, 44 women developed dementia.

The participants were categorized into three fitness groups so that it would be easier to know the women’s fitness level. It is determined by a cycling test: low, medium and high. The incidence of all-cause dementia was 32 percent in the low fitness group, 25 percent for the medium, and 5 percent among those with a high fitness level.

According to Alzheimer’s Association, dementia isn’t really a disease, but a general term for a group of symptoms. It is associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.

The average age at dementia was 11 years older in the high-fitness group than in the medium fitness group. Compared with medium fitness, high fitness decreased the risk of dementia by 88 percent.

The study was influenced by a lot of variables such as smoking, drinking, blood pressure and cholesterol, and the follow-up was very long. The study was done through pure observation as the life of the participants were followed.

Still, the senior author, Dr. Ingmar Skoog, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Gothenburg, said that women should get moving for many reasons.

“If you start exercising,” he said, “you reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. And you get immediate gratification by feeling better.”

Source: Alzheimer’s Association, The New York Times


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