Pump up your brain health with exercise

Prevention is better than cure, and unfortunately in the case of dementia there is at present no cure although researchers around the world are racing to find one. However, there is encouraging news when it comes to preventing it.

According to Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation in the USA, regular exercise can help to prevent dementia and may, in some cases, help to slow further deterioration.

It says exercise protects against Alzheimer’s and other types pf dementia by stimulating the brain’s ability to maintain old connections as well as make new ones.

Experts believe regular attendance at gyms and health clubs/studios is specially recommended not only because of the exercise but because of the social interaction recommended for people with dementia – another reason for attending the regular support groups organised by DementiaSA (tel 021-421-0077).

Tips for sticking with an exercise plan at gyms and health clubs

If you have been inactive for a while, starting an exercise programme may be intimidating, but this where gyms and health clubs/studios help with advice and encouragement so that you start small and gradually build up your momentum and self-confidence

Many of them maintain records of progress made and apparatus used.. An additional aid to maintaining enthusiasm is to keep a private diary where you note increases in repetitions and weights used.

You could supplement your apparatus work with regular walks. The aim should be 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week, which means at least 20 minutes a day.

It takes about 28 days for a new routine to become habit. So do your best to stick with it for a month and soon your exercise routine with feel natural, even something you miss if you skip a session.

Protect your head

Head trauma at any point in life may increase your risk of Alzheimer’s. This includes repeated hits in sports activities such as rugby, soccer and boxing, or injuries from a bicycle or skating fall or motorcycle accident.

Protect your brain by wearing properly-fitting sports helmets and trip-proofing the environment where you exercise.

Avoid activities that compete for your attention and cause you to fall, like talking on your phone while cycling or walking.