Mild cognitive impairment or MCI is considered just another step on the rung to full-blown Alzheimer’s disease.
In fact, people who live with this impairment, where their memory has “slipped” but not so much that it significantly interferes with their daily life, are at ten times higher risk of the disease.
But just because you’ve begun to experience the symptoms of MCI doesn’t mean that dementia has to be just around the bend.
That’s because according to a study published in the journal, Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy, you could battle back your Alzheimer’s risk in just 20 minutes per week.
The benefits of exercise
The researchers, from Yonsei University College of Medicine, Republic of Korea, used electronic health record data of people diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment from 2009 to 2015.
On average, the participants were between 64 and 69 years. And each person completed questionnaires on how much they exercised.
And the researchers found that for those who exercised even a little, big benefits were in store…
The team discovered that:
- Compared with people with MCI who did not exercise, those who carried out vigorous or moderate physical activity for at least ten minutes more than once per week had an 18 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Among those who exercised more than once per week, people with MCI who exercised three to five times per week had a 15 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than those who exercised less.
- People with MCI who started exercising after their diagnosis had an 11 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than people who did not exercise at all.
When asked to sum up the findings, study author Hanna Cho said, “Our findings indicate that regular physical activity may protect against the conversion of mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease. Even if a person with mild cognitive impairment did not exercise regularly before their diagnosis, our results suggest that starting to exercise regularly after diagnosis could significantly lower their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.”
In other words, exercising even twice a week for just 10 minutes could save your brain and your memory.
Get moving to build brain volume
So how does exercise beat back dementia?
Well, according to the researchers, regular exercise may increase the production of molecules that support the growth and survival of neurons or increase blood flow to the brain.
These are factors that can actually prevent a reduction in brain volume that is often associated with dementia.
And this isn’t the first study to prove the power of exercise in brain shrinkage and dementia protection.
Researchers from the Wake Forest School of Medicine found that aerobic exercise does more than just prevent brain shrinkage and cognitive decline — it actually reverses it.
And studies have offered up six additional ways beyond exercise to avoid a shrinking brain and become a super-ager.
So get moving and keep your cortex thick and your memory sharp with these scientifically proven ways to keep your brain from shrinking.
Editor’s note: While you’re doing all the right things to protect your brain as you age, make sure you don’t make the mistake 38 million Americans do every day — by taking a drug that robs them of an essential brain nutrient! Click here to discover the truth about the Cholesterol Super-Brain!