Reduce your Alzheimer risk

 In Pilates

Mild Cognitive Impairment or MCI is a risk factor for developing dementia, with some studies stating that up to 80% of people affected by it will develop Alzheimer’sd is ease within six years of diagnosis. According to The World Alzheimer’s Report2016, 47 million people around the world are affected by Alzheimer’s. This same report estimates this number will triple by the year 2050.   Many different avenues have been proposed to help improve MCI in hopes of lessening the all too common eventual outcome. Medications, toxin avoidance, nutritional supplementation, brain exercises (such as games, social interaction, etc.) all have shown benefit to some degree or another. Exercise is high on the list as beneficial, and a recent study from The University of Sydney, published in the Journal of American Geriatrics, a study known as SMART – Study of Mental and Resistance Training – has reinforced the power of resistance training, such as Pilates and weightlifting, as a cognitive sparing/improving activity! It seems the stronger your muscles, the stronger your brain. In this study, a group of people ages 55 to 68 with MCI were divided into four groups of different activities (weightlifting, seated stretching exercises, cognitive training on a computer, placebo training on a computer) and brain function was measured after six months. The only group to show improvement in brainpower was the weightlifting group. The stronger the muscles got, the more the brain improved. This did not require daily gym visits to get the brain benefits – it only took weight training with purposeful increases in resistance to increase muscle strength twice a week for the six-month study period.   Therefore, it is obvious that one of the ‘smartest’ things you can do to preserve/increase brain power is to get your doctor’s clearance, hire a certified personal trainer, and hit the Pilates studio!

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