Brain xray

Once again, science has proven that exercise can improve our brain's health and help prevent Alzheimer's disease.

SEE ALSO: New research shows that exercise increases brain size

First of all, what happens when the brain experiences cognitive decline or impairment?

According to the CDC, cognitive impairment is when a person has difficulty remembering, learning new things, focusing or making decisions that affect his or her daily life.

Symptoms include not recognizing familiar places and people, not knowing what to do in an emergency situation, changes in mood or behavior, vision problems, trouble carrying out tasks such as following a recipe or keeping track or monthly bills and memory loss.

A person with mild cognitive impairment is more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias than those without this condition.

How can exercise help?

A new study from a team at UT Southwestern's O'Donnell Brain Institute suggests that the lower the fitness level, the faster the deterioration of vital nerve fibers in the brain.

This decline results in cognitive decline, including memory issues typical of dementia patients.

"This research supports the hypothesis that improving people's fitness may improve their brain health and slow down the aging process," said neurologist Dr. Kan Ding who authored the study.

Tips from Alzheimer’s Association:

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, epidemiology studies have shown that there is no 100% guaranteed way to avoid getting Alzheimer’s disease. Yet, if there is one thing everyone can do today to reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s, the answer is clear: exercise.

  • Engage in physical activities that may also be mentally or socially engaging, such as walking with a friend, taking a dance class, joining an exercise group or golfing.
  • Do regular physical activities to improve your strength and balance and reduce your risk of falling.
  • Keep your heart healthy to help keep your brain healthy. Growing evidence suggests that many factors that increase the risk of heart disease also may increase the risk of dementia.
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