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April 1, 2019 • Brain Health, Fitness

Determining Future Dementia Risk

Chris Ulrich Don Schertz Lois Shaw Marge Schrader Marcy Cowling horizontal senior exercising lifestyle woman women female male man men people adult white caucasian 70 70s 80 80s seventy eighty seventies eighties years old elderly aging medical retired aerobic class classes exercise health healthcare physical physically fit fitness recreation activity activities stretching work out workout working geriatric nursing home VStock

In a large population-based study to evaluate the relationship between self-rated fitness level at midlife and future dementia risk – scientists noted some compelling findings. The evaluation included 3,559 Finnish adults followed for 30 years. Study subjects who reported their fitness levels at age 50 as “poor” were four times more likely to develop dementia over the next three decades vs. those who rated their fitness levels as “good”. (Journal of Internal Medicine, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/joim.12202)

There is now robust evidence that dementia develops over several decades and that physical activity/exercise, because it benefits the brain through so many different ways, is arguably the single most powerful strategy available to protect our mental faculties. Simply taking a brisk 30-minute walk most days during your adult life may mean the difference between saving or losing your mind.


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