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Can Exercise Cut Your Risk Of Dementia?

Can Exercise Cut Your Risk of Dementia?

Strong bodies and strong minds go together. A recent study suggests that regular exercise can strengthen the brain and may cut your risk of cognitive decline and dementia down the road.

To determine how physical fitness affects brain health, researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine studied the medical records of 6,104 older patients in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health system.

They found that the more vigorously the patients exercised, the lower their risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or other cognitive problems years later. The findings were published in February 2017 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

The patients, average age 60 and nearly all men, were asked to run on a treadmill for as long as they could. The researchers then estimated the patients’ “metabolic equivalents,” which indicated how much energy they used while running based on peak treadmill speed and grade.

An average of about 10 years later, researchers examined patient records. Those who scored less than 6 metabolic equivalents on their treadmill test had a more than fourfold…

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