This Is How Many Minutes You Need To Walk To Prevent Dementia

Exercise can help to prevent dementia, and this is a simple one to get started with.
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It’s been an interesting period for research into dementia, a disease that around 900,000 people in the UK are experiencing today. The symptoms can be debilitating and the ripples of dementia’s impact can be felt throughout families and communities.

While we know that there are ways to identify and prevent dementia, it can all feel like a little too much to fully take in. Where do you even start? How many minutes is sufficient? Are you even doing it properly?

Thankfully, on the most recent episode of the ZOE podcast, Claire Steves, a professor of ageing and health at King’s College London, discussed exactly what she believes we need to do to prevent dementia.

The exercise that will help you to prevent dementia

On the podcast, Steves said that improving our cognitive health has to start with exercise, saying: “to improve your cognitive health, you need to do more exercise than you’re doing now. OK, up to a point, unless you’re like an Olympic athlete. So that’s the, and that’s the key thing.”

Ultimately, she said, anything more than what you’re doing now will help, adding: “whatever you’re doing, if you go up by a third, you’ll be improving yourself.”

Simple enough, right?

Steves also said that most evidence suggests that resistance training is best for preventing dementia but, of course, that’s quite a big step for people that don’t exercise whatsoever at the moment.

Host Jonathan Wolf adopted this point of view and asked: “I’m one of your patients. I’m not very physically active. What would you be telling me that I should do that can really make a difference?”

The answer was very simple: walking.

Steves added: “I think you need to get out and do walking 45 minutes, at least three times a week.”

So, if nothing else, try to go for a 45 minute walk at least three times a week, seems doable.

The health benefits of walking

Of course, the health benefits of walking don’t stop at dementia. According to Bupa, the health benefits of walking include:

  • helps you to maintain a healthy weight
  • keeps your muscles and bones healthy
  • improves your heart and cardiovascular fitness
  • helps you to maintain good balance
  • improves your mood
  • reduces stress and anxiety
  • improves memory and problem-solving
  • helps you sleep better
  • Increases your energy
  • helps you to cope with difficult times
  • improves your confidence and self-esteem
  • reduces the risk of depression

I know what I’m adding to my weekly calendar!