Wellness

Simply protect your heart and brain health at the same time

Nearly 23% of adults aged 18 to 44 are sedentary. For those aged 65 and over, this figure is around 32%. While you probably know that long-term inactivity weakens your bones and muscles, you might not realize that it can also damage your heart and brain. This increases the risk of dementia and heart disease, among other things, and can lead to early death.

But research suggests that exercising can help keep these organs healthy and delay or prevent their decline. What if you sweat regularly for several years? It’s even better. Anything that increases your overall activity can save you from a sedentary lifestyle, as well as the heart and cognitive problems that can come with it.

The benefits of exercise for the heart

As one advances in middle age, the heart begins to gradually weaken. Its walls become thicker and less flexible, and your arteries become stiffer. This increases your risk of high blood pressure and other heart problems, including stroke and heart failure. And if you are sedentary, that risk increases even more.
When you exercise, your heart beats faster, which increases blood circulation and provides your body with needed oxygen. The more you exercise, the stronger your heart becomes and the more elastic your blood vessels become. This helps you maintain lower blood pressure and decreases your chances of developing many cardiovascular problems.

It’s the aerobic exercise (also called cardio) that really does the trick. Research suggests that regular, moderate, or vigorous long-term cardio training may be most helpful. Although any physical activity promotes good heart health. It can range from running to cycling to rowing. In short, anything that can speed up the heart rate.

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Getting in shape also benefits the heart in other ways, helping counteract risk factors for heart disease. Exercise is associated with:

– A reduction in inflammation
– An increase in HDL (the “good” cholesterol) and a decrease in LDL (the “bad” cholesterol)
– Maintain a healthy weight and fight obesity
– Improve heart health, regardless of age. For example

In a study published in the August 2018 issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers gave heartbeat and motion sensors to 1,600 British volunteers aged 60 to 64. After five days, they found that more active people had fewer indicators of heart disease in their blood. Not bad in such a short time.

How exercise benefits the brain

What’s good for the heart is usually good for the mind. Sweating regularly can improve brain health in several ways.

First, exercise is linked to improved cognition. Which includes better memory, better attention, and better executive functions. Like controlling emotions and getting things done. It can also improve the speed with which you process and react to information, as well as your ability to draw on your past knowledge and experience.

Being physically active is also linked to slower age-related cognitive decline. We gradually lose our ability to think, concentrate and remember over time. In other words, if you like where you are, it’s good to keep exercising because it can at least help you maintain your current cognitive function.

Exercise can help prevent or delay dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. For example, a 2017 article in The Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences found that being active was associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease at term. The link was stronger for people who voluntarily exercised in their free time, rather than those who had physically active jobs. This suggests that the mental benefits may depend on the activity chosen, in addition to the time you devote to it.

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How does exercise do all of this? It is believed that physical exercise improves blood circulation and oxygen supply to the brain, which helps it to function better. Some research indicates that it prevents the shrinking of the hippocampus, the part of the brain essential for learning and remembering things. Experts also believe it boosts chemical activity in the brain, which could contribute to better cognition.

Finally, physical exercise can help reduce the risk of developing other dementia-related conditions, including cardiovascular disease.

When can you start?

Regardless of your age, you can benefit from physical exercise. There is evidence to suggest that exercising more vigorously earlier in life is more beneficial. But it’s never too late to start. Because everyone has an interest in doing some kind of physical activity.

In addition to its benefits for the heart and the brain, physical exercise:

– Boosts mood and energy
-Helps prevent injury
-Reduces the risk of other age-related diseases, such as arthritis
-Helps you stay independent

When it comes to exercise, keep in mind that adults should do 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week. The ideal would be to spread it over several days. Cardiovascular activities such as walking, cycling, swimming, gardening, and dancing are good options for seniors.

Your program should also include strength training, as well as balance and flexibility movements. Think yoga or tai chi. They can help keep you mobile and reduce injuries, especially those from falls, which are often devastating to the health of older people.

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Physical activity can easily be integrated into your daily life

And remember: Even if it’s only a short walk, any effort is better than no effort. Taking steps during the day to engage in physical activity or movement can be just as beneficial as signing up for a gym. For starters, simple moves like climbing stairs or parking further away from your desk so you can take a few extra steps are fine.

Honestly ask yourself…it’s up to you to decide if couch-locking is worth it for the long-term health of your brain and heart…

* Presse Santé strives to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice. [HighProtein-Foods.com]

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