Source: Livingston, G., Huntley, J., Sommerlad, A., Ames, D., Ballard, C., Banerjee, S., ... & Mukadam, N. (2020). Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. The Lancet, 396(10248), 413-446.
Physical exercise is not only crucial for maintaining physical health, but it can also enhance cognitive function and decrease the risk of cognitive impairment. Regular exercise has been found to enhance brain structure, function, and connectivity, while also increasing the production of growth factors that support the growth and survival of neurons.
Several studies have established a strong link between physical activity and a reduced risk of cognitive decline and dementia. For instance, a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease demonstrated that individuals who engaged in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes, three times a week, had a 50% decreased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease compared to those who were sedentary.
Moreover, exercise has been found to have a positive impact on various cognitive functions, such as memory, attention, and executive function. Another study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity revealed that exercise training can enhance cognitive performance in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.
By promoting brain health, enhancing cognitive function, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, regular physical exercise can help reduce the risk of cognitive impairment. Therefore, incorporating physical activity into one's daily routine is a simple yet effective way to maintain brain health and prevent cognitive decline.
Alzheimer's Disease International. World Alzheimer Report 2010: The Global Economic Impact of Dementia. Alzheimer's Disease International; 2010.
Smith PJ, Blumenthal JA, Hoffman BM, et al. Aerobic exercise and neurocognitive performance: a meta-analytic review of randomized controlled trials. Psychosom Med. 2010;72(3):239-252. doi:10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181d14633
Chang YK, Chu CH, Wang CC, et al. Exercise preserves the cognitive functions and neural efficiency in people with mild cognitive impairment. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition. 2014;21(3):1-17. doi:10.1080/13825585.2013.801126
Community engagement has been shown to provide numerous benefits for cognitive health and reduce the risk of cognitive impairment. Social isolation and loneliness have been found to be major risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia, and community engagement can help combat these factors.
Community engagement can take many forms, including volunteering, participating in community activities, and attending social events. By staying socially active and engaging with others, individuals can maintain and improve cognitive function, as well as reduce the risk of cognitive impairment.
One study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that socially engaged individuals had a 70% reduced risk of developing dementia compared to those who were not socially engaged. Volunteering has also been associated with a reduced risk of cognitive impairment in older adults, as per a study published in the American Journal of Public Health.
Engaging with others in the community also provides opportunities for mental stimulation and cognitive challenges, such as group discussions, learning new skills, and problem-solving activities. These activities have been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
Therefore, community engagement is crucial in maintaining cognitive health and reducing the risk of cognitive impairment. By staying socially active, individuals can combat social isolation and loneliness, and provide opportunities for mental stimulation and cognitive challenges.
Alzheimer's Disease International. World Alzheimer Report 2014: Dementia and Risk Reduction. Alzheimer's Disease International; 2014.
James BD, Wilson RS, Barnes LL, Bennett DA. Late-life social activity and cognitive decline in old age. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2011;17(6):998-1005. doi:10.1017/S1355617711000531
Carlson MC, Saczynski JS, Rebok GW, et al. Exploring the effects of an "everyday" activity program on executive function and memory in older adults: Experience Corps. Gerontologist. 2008;48(6):793-801. doi:10.1093/geront/48.6.793