How long do I need to exercise to reduce my risk of dementia? - Women's Running

How long do I need to exercise to reduce my risk of dementia?

Author: Kate Sellers

Read Time:   |  January 17, 2022

New research finds just 20 minutes of exercise per day reduces the risk of dementia – even if you start later in life

We’ve long known that exercise can improve our physical health and our mental health. Now scientists have found a significant link between daily movement and much lower chances of developing dementia.

The study looked at the brains of over 400 deceased participants. They had passed away between the ages of 70 and 80, and had agreed to be part of the Rush Memory and Ageing Project. The study had also tracked their physical activity levels in the later stages of their life.

Researchers found that the participants who had been active during their daily lives as they got older had higher levels of a protein that prevents dementia symptoms by strengthening communication between brain cells.

So, what kind of exercise do we need to be doing, and for how long? The researchers concluded that 20 minutes per day is all that is needed to lower our dementia risk. This is true whether you’re young or old, and even if you’re already experiencing signs of dementia.

When it comes to the exercise itself, they recommended finding something that you enjoy. Even light intensity exercise counts! It could be as simple as a walk or a run, or you can mix it up with many different types of exercise through the week.

Written by

Kate Sellers

Kate Sellers

Kate is our Senior Digital Executive and a keen runner. She's also a qualified Personal Trainer and yoga teacher, so she knows her stuff about workouts, cross-training and stretching. She loves to combine running and exploring, so you'll often find her testing out the latest kit in exciting locations across the UK and beyond. Kate champions exercising for enjoyment. "Most of the year, you'll find me running for fun and wellbeing," she says. "That being said, I do still love the thrill of training for a race from time to time!"

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