A new study from the University of South Carolina gives more credence to the theory that exercise may reduce the risk of death related to forms of dementia. These findings should provide more motivation to start a fitness program now, no matter what your age.
The researchers looked at the health records of 60,000 men and women of all ages along with their level of fitness—low, middle or high—tracking participants for an average of 17 years. When they analyzed the lifestyle habits of those who died of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, roughly three quarters were in the low fitness category. Of the remaining 25 percent, the fewest number of dementia related deaths were among those in the high fitness category.
Government fitness guidelines as well as those from organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association encourage people to be physically active nearly every day of the week. Being physically fit helps wards off critical health issues such as heart disease and makes it easier to accomplish all you want and need to do in an average day.
Other recent studies suggest that strength training to keep muscles in top shape are the place to start. You don’t have to lift weights—resistance bands are a great alternative and can be used to work most muscle groups. And you can even use tuna or soup cans to do biceps curls, for instance, so you can get started this minute!