Exercise - it is good for your brain

Physical activity is one of those things that many of us know we should be doing more of!

Did you know that regular physical activity is associated with lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia as we get older?

The ISLAND Project at the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre wants to make all Tasmanians aware of how they can reduce their personal risk of dementia. Taking more exercise is one such way.

We know there are wide ranging benefits of engaging in regular physical activity including maintaining a healthy weight, improving your sleep and managing cholesterol and blood pressure.

It’s now become much clearer that regular physical activity also directly benefits brain health.

Research now tells us that people who are physically active throughout their lifetime have a lower risk of developing cognitive decline as they get older.

The type of exercise is also important, and a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training is likely more beneficial for our brains.

Aerobic exercise must be intense enough to increase our heartbeat in order to be of benefit. We don’t yet know the right amount of exercise that benefits out brains but at least 150 minutes per week is recommended.

It’s never too late to start exercising. It can be as simple as walking to the shop, using the stairs more or joining an exercise class.

Just get moving to reduce your risk of dementia, have fun and start to see some benefits for your health, including your brain.

- Contributed by Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
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