What if there was something you can do early on in your life that’s been shown to cut your risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia by as much as 88%?

Recently published study results from Sweden have proven the strong link between exercise and brain health – leaving little to no doubt.

The study was done over 35 years and followed the lives of 191 women over 40 years. The average age of the group at the start of the study was 50 years.

At the start of the study, all the women were assessed for physical fitness, using an electrocardiogram (ECG) while riding an exercise bike. Their blood pressure and heart rates were also measured, and based on each person’s level of fitness, they were assigned to a group.

About 22% of the women were classified as “highly fit”, 48% were “moderately fit”, and 31% were in the “low fitness” group. Within that last group, some could not complete the bike test at all.

During the next 45 years, the women were tested six times, using a standardised cognitive test method, to see if there were any symptoms of cognitive decline.

At the end of the study, almost one in four women had developed cognitive decline, identified either as dementia or Alzheimer’s category.

But here is the most amazing result……

Of the women who were unable to complete the bike test at the start of the study, an astonishing 45% had developed dementia or Alzheimer’s. Of the “low fitness” group, 32% had the symptoms, while only 25% of the moderate fitness group had any measurable cognitive decline.

Of the high fitness group, only 5% had developed cognitive decline!

And they developed the symptoms 9.5 years later than the women in the “moderate fitness” group.

A closer look at the results showed that the women in the “moderate fitness” group were 5 times more likely to develop dementia than the “high fitness” group.

There have been other major studies that prove the strong link between fitness and cognitive decline with age. So, whatever age you are, it’s worth making sure you are exercising enough – just ask yourself what you’ve done in the last 2 days, for a start!

Apart from improving brain circulation, thus ensuring good blood and nutrient supply to the brain, exercise also raises the amount of a protein in your brain that’s vital to good brain health – brain-derived neurotrophic factor. – BDNF.

BDNF helps to create new cells and neural connections and keeps our neurons and synapses healthy. People with Alzheimer’s have low levels of BDNF, and exercise increases BDNF levels.

Just one exercise session can increase the BDNF level in your brain, but people who exercise regularly have higher levels even at rest even if they had not exercised that day.

So, regular exercise is the key to healthy brain ageing! What have you done today? It doesn’t matter how old you are! Regular exercise improves your overall health, your mood, and keeps your brain young.

There are some nutrients and herbs that have been proven to increase BDNF in the brain, and I’ll talk about those next month.

Cognitive decline is no longer something that just happens with age. People in their 40’s are being diagnosed with dementia – which is younger than ever before. Our modern lifestyles are not brain-friendly, but the cheapest, easiest therapy is just outside your door!

If you are interested in checking your current state of brain health, there are standardised online cognitive health checks available that I can now refer you to. Last year, I completed advanced training in reversing dementia and Alzheimer’s, and am a certified Bredeson Protocol practitioner.

If you would like to be sent a link to an authorised online cognitive test, send me an email titled “brain check” and I will get back to you with the information and log-in. If any deterioration is identified, there is plenty of time to reverse it. Our brains are plastic and damage can be reversed!

Wishing you fun while you exercise today!

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