Women Over 50 Fighting Dementia Risk With Exercise
Lately I’ve heard a lot of stories from my friends about their parents getting dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia is a frightening condition and it’s a growing problem worldwide. But after reading an article recently, I’m actually feeling pretty confident that my risk level is low. Why? Because I exercise intensely on a regular basis.
The article says that a study done in Sweden found that women who are fit at the age of 50 are significantly less likely to get dementia later in life. I found other articles that pointed to similar studies. Exercise does a lot of important things beyond just helping you look good. It stimulates the growth of new blood vessels (important to the brain!), reduces inflammation (also important!) and it helps brain cells live longer.
I found this in a study done at McMaster University:
“The health advantages of high-intensity exercise are widely known but new research points to another major benefit: better memory. The findings could have implications for an aging population which is grappling with the growing problem of catastrophic diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's.”
The Swedish study took decades to carry out. The McMaster study focused or more immediate results. They found that exercise increases the levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which is “a protein that supports the growth, function and survival of brain cells.”
Researchers say that a new case of dementia is detected every 4 seconds globally! It’s a tragic way to lose a loved one and lose touch with the world. But it’s very encouraging to know that there is something we can do to fight it!
But it makes me really sad when so many of my friends say “I’m too old for exercising” or “It’s too late for me.” Nonsense! My mother-in-law started swimming after she retired and she’s still going strong with no signs of memory loss at age 90!
Maybe they just think the gym is for building muscles or losing weight. Or maybe they think they’ll look stupid working out next to young people. But that what I love about BPHYT - there’s none of that BS. We support each other in our small groups to get through the sessions and we have a lot of fun doing it.
For me it’s pretty simple. If you can do something to fight dementia, why not DO IT? If you’re in the Toronto east area and want to give BPHYT a try, call us at 416 701 9090.