Can Exercise Help Prevent Dementia?

Can Exercise Help Prevent Dementia?
 min read
By Dr. Andy Galpin

Can exercise help prevent dementia & late-onset Alzheimer's?

A fascinating paper from Tommy Wood argues for a "lack of cognitive demand (ie., hard tasks)" as a major contributor, and covers 6 evidence-based tactics.

Basically, they draw parallels between the need to exercise your muscle for physical health and the need to work your brain for its health as well.

They describe how our cognitive demands drop markedly as we move from early life to mid-life, then stabilizes, and drops massively again at the onset of late life. Other people have described this as “the quickest way to die is to retire” – and there’s something to that.

Positive Tasks:
  • Physical Exercise
  • Education
  • Music (playing or learning)
  • Language (learning new)
  • Social interaction
  • Brain training
  • Skill Development (sensory input)

Detrimental Activities:
  • Retirement
  • Sensory Loss
  • Social Isolation
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Routine

Note 1: This has almost nothing to do with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease – which appears to have very little (if any) environmental influence. This is arguing for >60 yr old onset.

Note 2: As always, science evolves and as it does, this model will as well. The argument will weaken or grow in strength as we learn more about this large field.

Note 3: You can hear Tommy talk more about this paper in a recent episode of Team Barbell Shrugged

Meet the author

Dr. Andy Galpin

My goal is to enhance the human condition by providing the world with in-depth and entertaining health.

Powering World-Class Athletes