Hearing Challenges

Active Living Over 60: Strategies to Prevent Dementia

Preventing cognitive decline and dementia is crucial, much like preventing heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. But how can we achieve this?

Similar to other chronic conditions, regular physical activity is key to maintaining mental health. The mind, like the body, thrives on the principle of “use it or lose it.” Numerous studies have consistently shown that regular exercise can significantly reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Aerobic Exercise and Dementia

Aerobic exercise, which increases your heart rate, has been shown to significantly improve thinking, memory, and reduce rates of dementia, particularly in middle-aged and older adults, including women over 60.

When we refer to ‘aerobic exercise,’ it means sustained activity for about 20–30 minutes, several times a week, continued for at least a year.

What Studies Tell Us

A study that followed over 2,000 women in Wales for 35 years assessed five behaviors: regular exercise, not smoking, moderate alcohol intake, maintaining a healthy body weight, and a healthy diet. Exercise was found to have the greatest impact on reducing dementia risk. Women who adhered to four or five of these behaviors were up to 60% less likely to develop dementia.

A recent review of literature revealed that 26 out of 27 studies found a strong link between physical activity levels and cognitive performance in women over 60, suggesting that exercise is an effective way to combat cognitive decline.

Remember, physical exercise isn’t limited to sports or running. Activities like brisk walking, cleaning, or gardening also count. One study even found that daily tasks such as cooking and running errands can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Untreated Hearing Loss

People with untreated hearing loss are less likely to be physically active due to social isolation, which negatively impacts their mental capabilities. This, combined with decreased physical activity, increases the risk of dementia in older women.

Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining physical and mental well-being.

The Importance of Physical Activity

Physical activity offers opportunities to socialize and helps maintain independence, improve self-esteem, and enhance mood, leading to better overall well-being.

To reduce your risk of dementia, increase your activity level today. Small decisions, like taking a short walk, using stairs instead of the elevator, or parking further away and walking, can have significant impacts. Aim for 100 to 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Besides reducing dementia risk, the health benefits of exercise include preventing obesity, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

Tips for Staying Active

  • Make activities enjoyable to maintain interest.
  • Be realistic; start slow and build up gradually.
  • Make daily walking a priority, even if it’s short.
  • Explore new exercise videos for women over 60, like ‘Body Groove.’
  • Dance whenever possible.
  • Stay hydrated.

Added Bonus

While staying physically active, keep your mind engaged too! Activities like socializing, reading, picking up new hobbies, playing board games, crafting, learning new skills, or even going back to school can keep your mind sharp.

Take Control of Your Cognitive Health

Did you know that 40% of dementia cases are preventable? Treating hearing loss is the number one modifiable lifestyle factor to prevent cognitive decline. If you’re concerned about your physical or social activity levels, now is the time to make a change.

Until next time, keep moving and stay mentally active!

Schedule A Consultation Today!

If you’ve noticed any of the signs of hearing loss we discussed above, our team at Hearing Doctors of New Jersey  will help you find the right hearing treatment for you and your specific needs. We provide personalized comprehensive hearing assessments designed to understand the cause of your hearing loss and then customize the right treatment option for you.

Take the first step to no longer saying “what?” and schedule a consultation today. Call our Livingston, NJ office at (973) 874-2790 or fill out our online contact form.