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Physically Fit Women Lower Their Dementia Risk

By Sandy Schroeder

In a world that spins faster every day, we all want to be a step ahead of the game. Maintaining memory and avoiding dementia is crucial, but there are new answers. 

Look at These Results 

University of Sweden researchers studied fitness in middle-aged women and found physical fitness helps keep the brain healthy and lowers the risk of dementia.  They say lifting weights, hopping on a bike or stepping onto a yoga mat works. 

The researchers studied 191 women with an average age of 50 for over 40 years and found women who had a high fitness level at middle age were almost 90 percent less likely to develop dementia. 

All of the women did a stress test on a bike. They exercised to the point of exhaustion to measure peak cardiovascular capacity.  

  • 40 women had a high fitness level 
  • 92 had a medium fitness level 
  • 59 had a low fitness level 

The researchers then tracked the health of the participants for over 40 years and tested them for dementia six different times. Forty women developed dementia but most of them were in the low or medium fitness range.  

Only 5 percent of the highly fit women developed dementia, which means  the highly fit women were 88 percent less likely to develop dementia, and if they did it would be much later in life. 

Moderately fit women who developed dementia were around 79. Highly fit women who ran into dementia were near 90 years old. 

What This Means  

Women who exercise some but need to do more might consider restructuring their goals to achieve a high level of fitness.  If you are out there walking, running or spending time in the gym, upping the goal to make sure you are truly fit could mean living longer and avoiding dementia.  

I think most of us will be more tempted to push a little harder in time expended and energy put out if we believe it will pay off with mental clarity down the road.

If you agree, make your first stop your doctor's office to see what your health numbers and fitness profile are. Inform your doctor of your plans before launching new exercise routines and gradually increase your efforts to avoid injury. Your chiropractor can also help, monitor your progress, and watch for any glitches. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Loveland, Colo.

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