Extensive research by the Mayo Clinic revealed that aerobic activity as simple as raking leaves may reduce the progression of dementia. The key, say researchers, is to increase the heart rate and the body’s need for oxygen, which could help preserve cognitive functions in dementia patients.
“We culled through all the scientific literature we could find on the subject of exercise and cognition, including animal studies and observational studies, reviewing over 1,600 papers, with 130 bearing directly on this issue. We attempted to put together a balanced view of the subject,” said researcher J. Eric Ahlskog. “We concluded that you can make a very compelling argument for exercise as a disease-modifying strategy to prevent dementia and mild cognitive impairment, and for favorably modifying these processes once they have developed.”
Ahlskog and the researchers said the study showed that exercise could be an important therapy to utilize when battling dementia.
“Whether addressing our patients in primary care or neurology clinics, we should continue to encourage exercise for not only general health, but also cognitive health,” Ahlskog said.
Source: Mayo Clinic
Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at email@example.com.