These Exercises Could Be the Key To Preventing Dementia and Heart Disease

Many people tend to address exercise as a weight loss tool. Exercise can be and is so much more, including the key to a healthy lifestyle and a tactic to ward off the potential of future diseases like heart disease and dementia.

New research found that the more you do to promote your cardiovascular health, the more you’re doing to prevent dementia. These exercises are tools that help ward off heart disease and can, in turn, improve both your body and mind.

Aerobic exercise is the most effective

Woman running outside

Woman running outside | lzf/iStock/Getty Images

Regular aerobic exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your overall health. It’s beneficial to keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels regular and boosting both your energy levels and mood. Aerobic exercise, if done properly, also helps reduce your chances of getting heart disease.

The physician-recommended amount of aerobic exercise includes at least 20 to 30-minuteĀ sessions three to four times a week. However, for regularly inactive individuals, it’s important to slowly work up to this level of activity.

Each exercise session needs three phases: the warm-up, the exertion phase, and a follow-up cool down. The warm-up should get your heart rate going without too much effort to get your body prepared for the work to come. The exertion or “conditioning” phase is the main part of your workout during which you’ll reach your peak heart rate. The cooldown and stretch areĀ crucial, often skipped parts of your exercise that help lower your heart rate, benefit your muscles, and are overall necessary for a safe and effective workout.

Try these exercises out:

Many people once fell victim to the myth that vigorous exercise was dangerous for people at risk for heart disease. However, medical evidence reveals that the more aerobically intense the exercise, the more value to your heart. Which means that a short, 15-minute high-intensity aerobic workout could benefit your heart just as much as an hour-long marathon session.

The question of how much exercise is necessary to prevent heart disease is still up for debate. Still, the issue with most Americans is getting them to exercise in the first place.

“The sad fact is, most Americans are sedentary,” Matthew Sorrentino, M.D., said. “So getting them to move at all is an improvement.” The resounding average recommendation is 30 to 60 minutes per day of regular exercise to lower blood sugar and blood pressure, boost good cholesterol, and lower the risk of blood clots.

If you’re not a runner, don’t fear. Aerobic exercise can include anything from walking, jogging, and running to more creative exercises like dancing, swimming, and bicycling variations.

The correlation between heart health and dementia is relatively new

Doctor drawing ecg heartbeat chart

A new study shows heart health and dementia risk correlate. | iStock.com/BrianAJackson

A recent study of over 6,600 senior citizens discovered an inverse correlation between positive cardiovascular health scores and dementia risk. The difference was dramatic, The Medical XPress reports: Among those with the lowest scores, dementia developed at a rate of over 13 cases per 100 people. Among those with the highest scores, there were only 7.1 cases per 100 people studied.

 

“To achieve a lifetime of robust brain health free of dementia, it is never too early or too late to strive for attainment of ideal cardiovascular health,” Dr. Jeffrey Saver, a leader of the UCLA Stroke Center, and Dr. Mary Cushman of the University of Vermont wrote about the study. “Given the aging population, this positive health message is important to communicate to all members of society.”

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!