There are a few things that you probably have in mind when deciding to go to the gym or starting a new HIIT workout routine: I want to get a six-pack, I want to lose weight, I want to get faster and stronger. Do you agree?
If you're reading this, you're probably aware of at least some of the many benefits of working out, but perhaps, you're unaware that exercising could be an option in delaying Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia and it affects approximately 5.7 million people in the United States alone. Although the majority of the cases involving this kind of dementia are presented in people 65 years and older, it is well known that the condition may start developing in the brain 20 years (or even more) before any of the symptoms appear.
Having said that, you now know the importance of taking care of your mind and body NOW!
Professor of Neural Science and Psychology Dr. Wendy A. Suzuki explains the immediate effects a single workout can have, such as "improve your ability to shift and focus attention" and improve reaction time, and how these improvements can last for at least two hours!
Nevertheless, in the case of delaying Alzheimer's disease effects, we are more interested in the LONG TERM EFFECTS of exercise in our brain. Think of your brain as any other muscle in your body, if you work out enough, it will grow and get stronger, and the larger it is, the more time it'll take for a diseases like Alzheimer's to take control.
As Dr. Suzuki mentions, when exercising, you're not only helping your body to get in better shape, you're also changing your brain's anatomy, physiology, and function. This last statement is mostly true for workouts that help you increase your CARDIORESPIRATORY function (aerobic exercise), which will help the two areas in your brain most susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline in aging (hippocampus and prefrontal cortex) to grow and get stronger.
Here's a list of some activities which can help you in this matter:
Aerobic Dance Classes
Other sports (basketball, volleyball, and racquet sports)
This may all sound pretty interesting, but the true question here is, how much time do I need to exercise to get the benefits? The answer is simple:
30 minutes a day, 3 or 4 times a week are perfectly enough!
So, next time you arrive home, take the stairs instead of the elevator! Add an extra walk around the block! Go to that dance class you weren't so sure about!
GO GET YOUR HEART RATE UP!