Spring is here! Or it’s getting closer, depending on where you live. With the days growing warmer and staying light longer, it’s the perfect time to renew your commitment to being active.
Now, I know that exercise can be hard to stick to. Believe me, if you have trouble staying motivated, you’re not alone. Maybe I can give you another reason to get out and get moving.
You hear constantly that you need to exercise for a healthy heart. You exercise to prevent heart disease and heart attack, which is a powerful motivator. But, if you need more motivation, then try this… when you exercise, you help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.
That’s right, all that good work you’ve been doing to keep your heart healthy keeps your brain healthy, too. Now, that’s motivation!
It’s Been Proven—People Who Exercise Stay Sharper as They Age
There is plenty of research to show there’s a relationship between regular exercise and preventing cognitive decline.
Doctors performing a review of several studies found that physically active people don’t experience the same level of cognitive decline with age as sedentary people do. Their brains get more blood and don’t shrink as much. Best of all, benefits show up when you exercise just 15 minutes a day three times each week.
The brain-benefits of exercise don’t stop there. In the Better Ageing Project, researchers studied the link between exercise and quality of life as people age. They found that exercise enhanced mood, improved overall physical function—important for ongoing independence—and created valuable social ties among adults.
Even people who have already experienced some cognitive decline benefit. Researchers found that exercise improves both the mental and physical abilities of people with Alzheimer’s disease by altering how the disease changes the brain.
No matter you stage of life or your situation, exercise can give your brain a boost.
Make Exercising Fun for a Smarter Future You!
The main thing I try to emphasize when it comes to exercise is that it can be fun.
First, find an activity or two that you really enjoy doing. It could be swimming, dancing, basketball, lacrosse… whatever you know you’ll look forward to.
Next, find someone you like to do your activities with. You’ll get more benefit by turning it into a social activity and you can hold each other accountable, so you’re more likely to stick with it.
Finally, schedule it in and then go do it—your body and mind will benefit in so many ways!
Mark Rosenberg, MD
Photo Credit: Stockphoto.com/LajosRepasi