Exercise is good for us for many reasons, from keeping us at a healthy BMI to boosting our mental health. However, another reason to slip on your trainers and make sure you include fitness into your daily routine is to ward off signs of dementia.
According to a recent study by the Alzheimer’s Society, exercise, along with sleep and a small amount of alcohol every day can improve your brain function, the Daily Express reported.
Scientist Dr Ian Harrison from University College London revealed at the Cheltenham Science Festival that they were trying to discover how to prevent the glympathic system – the brain’s way of self-cleaning – from failing.
As a result, they have found a link between the glympathic system and the formation of proteins that kill off vital cells and, in turn, lead to Alzheimer’s.
Experimenting with mice, the researchers found a combination of sleep, exercise and alcohol produced an active glympathic system.
Dr Harrison noted: “When animals have voluntary access to exercise there is a massive increase in glympathic function. The research postulates it is the increase in heart rate that drives the fluid into the brain.”
In addition to this, the scientists found that sleeping more allows the brain to switch off and get rid of waste products brain cells produce.
What’s more, drinking 25 ml – or a third of a unit – of wine a day could lead to a 30 to 40 per cent increase in the brain’s self-cleaning function.
However, you should not drink too much, as this has the opposite effect, Dr Harrison stated.
Why not kickstart your health and fitness regime by signing up to an online personal trainer in the UK, particularly if dementia runs in your family? According to Alzheimer’s Society, 99 per cent of sufferers have not inherited dementia from their parents or grandparents. However, those who do are much more likely to develop early-onset Alzheimer’s in their 30s or 40s.
Improving lifestyle choices, such as embarking on a daily exercise programme, can ward off the condition for longer.