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Physical Exercise can Delay Dementia by 9.5 Years

Physical Exercise can Delay Dementia (NIA)

Women who Tested High for Cardiovascular Fitness in Middle Age Were able to Delay the Onset of Dementia by 9.5 Years

A study published in the Neurology Journal, April 10, 2018 entitled “Midlife Cardiovascular Fitness and Dementia, A 44-year Longitudinal Population Study in Women” shows that physical exercise in women can delay the onset of dementia by 9.5 years. The study showed that women who were highly cardiovascular fit at middle age also showed better brain health as they aged.

Ergometer Cycling Test for Cardiovascular Fitness

The study began in 1968 with 1,462 Swedish women 38 to 60 years of age. Out of these 192 performed an ergometer cycling test to test their level of cardiovascular fitness. Follow ups were conducted over a 44 year period to see how many developed dementia. Some had tested low, medium and high on the cycling test. Only those who had tested high were able to delay the onset of dementia by almost 10 years.

Lifestyle, Mediterranean Diet and Physical Exercise

Many studies now are showing how lifestyle can effect overall health in seniors. Eating a diet high in plant foods and fish and low in meat like the Mediterranean Diet, not smoking or drinking very little alcoholic beverages and getting enough physical exercise, which does not have to be strenuous, are they way to go to prevent or delay the onset of dementia and other age related diseases.

Physical Exercise can Build Brain Neurons

Researchers claim, in fact, that physical exercise can build brain neurons.

Physical Exercise Important Role in Orthopedic Rehabilitation

Research shows how important exercise is in rehabilitation after hip or knee replacement surgeries and after hip fractures. In fact the operations do not take very long, but in order to be successful there must be months of physical exercise and physical therapy in order for the operations to succeed. Seniors who do not go to rehab after fractures of the hip do not regain as much function as those who do go to a rehab and participate in physical therapy and exercises. Please see our previous blog published March 9, 2018 on Rehabilitation in Seniors after Surgery for a Hip Fracture.

Dog Walkers Have Better Cardiovascular Health

Studies even show that seniors who own dogs and regularly walk them have better cardiovascular health and general health than seniors who are mainly living a sedentary lifestyle.

Exercise Leads to Better bone Health

Seniors who regularly exercise also have better bone health. In fact seniors with osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are encouraged to participate in physical exercise programs to strengthen bones and muscles.

Physical Exercise in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation

Physical exercise is also an important part of rehabilitation in people recovering from strokes and heart attacks.


Physical Exercise has been linked to better physical and mental health in seniors. Physical exercise can delay or prevent dementia. So get up and get going even if you cannot walk fast, just do the best you can!

Ditmas Park Rehab in Brooklyn NY is known for its excellent rehab programs for seniors recovering from falls and fractures and from hip and knee replacement operations, for stroke rehabilitation and for recovery from heart attacks or operations.

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