A healthy mind in a healthy body: stay physically active!

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Several diseases and symptoms, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, are risk factors for cardiovascular diseases; they may also increase the risk of developing the Alzheimer disease. Studies have indeed shown that 80% of Alzheimer’s patients also have cardiovascular disease.

In order to limit these diseases, elderly people are strongly advised to maintain an adapted physical activity to boost their physical and mental health. Physical activity is recommended because it participates in increasing the blood flow to the brain and body, providing additional nourishment while reducing potential dementia risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.

Take care of your health: it’s never too late to start!

Credit: Tim Ross
Credit: Tim Ross

Regular adapted physical exercise can lower the risk of Alzheimer and dementia. Exercise may directly benefit brain cells by increasing blood and oxygen flow in the brain.

Can exercise prevent memory loss and improve cognitive function?

More research is needed to know to what degree adding physical activity can improve memory or slow the progression of cognitive decline. However, regular exercise is important to stay physically and mentally healthy.

According to Dr. Ronald Petersen, “regular physical activity benefits the brain. Studies show that people who are physically active are less likely to experience a decline in their mental function and have a lowered risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.”

Ronald C. Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., focuses on investigations of cognition in normal aging, mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Dr. Petersen and his colleagues evaluate cognitive changes in normal aging as well as in a variety of disorders involving impairment in cognition, such as Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration and Lewy body dementia.

Practice an adapted physical activity may:

    • Stimulate the brain
    • Improve cognitive function such as memory, reasoning, judgment skills
    • Prevent Alzheimer’s disease or slow its progress

> Video: the Benefits of Exercise on Aging, Stress, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia

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