Dementia affects 47 million people worldwide. By 2050 this number is expected to rise to 150 million people. Dementia is a terrible disease. It takes from us everything we cherish. It often does this slowly, mercilessly. If you have had a loved one suffer from this terrible disease, the anguish is profound.
There’s good news, however. And it has nothing to do with medication.
Australian researchers have demonstrated for the first time that six months of progressive resistance training, slowed and sometimes stopped the degeneration of the hippocampus a year after the exercise program was initiated.
The program involved doing some form of resistance training using dumbells, weights, and machines for 45 minutes twice a week. The program lasted six months. Researchers waited 12 months and scanned the participants.
The results demonstrated a clear difference between the control group that did not have the resistance training intervention and the individuals who did.
There are a number of possible explanations for the effectiveness of resistance training. One might be the chemicals released by the body when we do resistance training. These feel-good chemicals bathe the entire body and brain providing anti-inflammatory effects along with mood enhancing benefits.
The other possible reason why weight training helps might have to do with the central nervous system. Resistance training targets the nervous system. It zaps the hippocampus, stimulating it in profound ways.
If you are reading this and you are doing some form of cardio exercise, keep going. But don’t stop there! Add weight training to your routine. There are so many ways to do this.
If you would like to start a resistance training program, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We can provide an individualized plan. Think of it as one of the most important investments in your overall health and longevity.
The following 10-minute video provides an overview of the lymbic system, a set of structures in the brain that deal with emotion and memory.