Dr. Day is a cardiologist/electrophysiologist at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated from Johns Hopkins Medical School and completed his residency and fellowships in cardiology and electrophysiology at Stanford University. He is the former president of the Heart Rhythm Society and currently serves as the president of the Utah chapter of the American College of Cardiology.
How to Bulletproof Your Brain
I want to share a message of hope for those of you with a family history of dementia. According to a new study, one simple habit can cut your risk of dementia by 90%! In this article, I will teach you how to bulletproof your brain.
The Swedish Dementia Study
Researchers from Sweden just published a study that rocked the neurology/dementia world. After following the people in this study for 44 years, researchers found that for those who are in the top 5% of their age group for physical fitness, then the risk of dementia dropped by 90%! And in those incredibly rare cases where a very physically fit person did develop dementia, it didn’t happen until after age 90.
No other intervention has ever been shown to have such a profound effect on protecting the brain. Of course, to make it to the top 5% for physical fitness in your age group will also require that you are eating right, optimizing sleep, etc.
How does exercise bulletproof your brain?
Studies show that exercise helps clear the dementia debris that piles up in the brain as we age. Also, physical activity is the most potent stimulator of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which causes the growth and development of brain cells.
Other studies have shown that people cut back on physical activity about ten years before developing dementia. Thus, if you have had no drop off in your daily exercise, then these studies suggest your brain will stay sharp for at least ten more years.
As dementia scares me to death, since reading this study I have significantly bumped up my daily exercise regimen. I’m banking on the fact that because my physical fitness continues to improve that I can bulletproof my brain.
The message here is clear. If you want to bulletproof your brain it is going to require a very high level of physical fitness. Walking around the block just isn’t going to cut it according to this study.
In addition to a high level of physical fitness, you also need to cut out the sugar and dramatically boost the veggies. At least seven hours of sleep, embracing stress, and learning new things daily will also help to bulletproof your brain.
Of course, If you haven’t done much more than walking, now is the time to work with your physician on finding the right way to increase your stamina. Don’t boost your daily exercise without speaking to your physician first.
Disclaimer Policy: This website is intended to give general information and does not provide medical advice. This website does not create a doctor-patient relationship between you and Dr. John Day. If you have a medical problem, immediately contact your healthcare provider. Information on this website is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Dr. John Day is not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your medical decisions.