By: Clinical Neuropsychologist Thomas A. Crum, Ph.D., of Broward Health North’s Memory Disorder Center
September 21 2021 – Regular exercise is not only beneficial for strengthening muscles and bones. It can also boost your brain’s health. Did you know that a lack of physical inactivity may increase your risk of abnormal brain changes?
A review attributed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found evidence from clinical trials that behavior, physical and lifestyle changes can help prevent or delay Alzheimer’s or age-related cognitive decline.
Clinical Neuropsychologist Thomas A. Crum, Ph.D., of Broward Health North’s Memory Disorder Center says it’s important to get regular exercise not just to improve physical health, but brain health as well.
“Engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise of moderate intensity is associated with an increase in the volume of selected brain regions that regulate your mood,” Dr. Crum said. “Exercise can also reduce your risk of heart disease and play an important part in maintaining your overall brain health.”
Researchers say one new case of dementia is detected every four seconds globally. They estimate that by the year 2050, more than 115 million people worldwide will have dementia. Although there is currently no proven treatment to prevent Alzheimer’s and other related dementias, in general, leading a healthy lifestyle may help address risk factors that have been associated with these diseases.
Adding regular physical activity to your daily routine can sound like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. It is recommended that most adults should get at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week. Fortunately, there are practical ways to get started.
Make it Manageable: Try starting with 10 to 15 minutes a day to ease your way into a routine. Gradually increase the length of activity as you go along to work your way up.
While you wait: You can incorporate simple movements into your daily routine. As you wait for your cup of coffee to brew, you can do a few minutes of stretching to get your day going. You can also do physical activity while watching your favorite show on TV. If you sit for long periods of time, take breaks every hour to walk around or stretch.
Take a walk: Going for walks are another way to get active. Not only are you getting movement, but you are also getting fresh air. Your brain needs oxygen to perform its cognitive functions and others to keep your body healthy.
Switch things up: It doesn’t have to be boring. Plan a variety of activities such as inviting friends or co-workers to join you when you exercise or go on walks. Play sports with your kids. Organize a group of neighbors to take fitness classes at a local health club or work out together virtually on video.
The brain is like the body’s control center. Taking care of this control center may lead to a longer and healthier life. Staying active is one way to keep your brain healthy.
To register for a free memory screening or for additional information, please https://www.browardhealth.org/services/memory-loss or call the Broward Health North Memory Disorder Center at 954-786-7392.