Healthcare Economy

Even 2 Minutes of Exercise a Week Might Lessen Risk of Dementia

Colman Andrews

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, most healthy adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week.

However, a small study conducted by researchers at Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland, suggests that even two minutes of high-intensity exercise a week could reduce blood pressure in those over 60 — thus reducing the risk of dementia and other age-related illnesses. This is one of numerous recent developments that may help preserve mental ability in old age. There is also evidence that this widely used blood pressure medication might stave off Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, called “Extremely short duration sprint interval training improves vascular health in older adults” and published in the journal Sport Sciences for Health, was led by Dr. John Babraj, a lecturer in exercise physiology at Abertay.

“What we’ve seen with this simple exercise,” Babraj said, “is a reduction in blood pressure which could potentially lead to a reduction in long term frailty and in the extent of dementia in older people.”

Participants in the Scottish study — 17 people between the ages of 60 and 75 — were guided through two brief sprint interval training (SIT) sessions a week for a ten-week period. In each session, they were asked to cycle as hard as they could on stationary bikes for only six seconds. They repeated the sprint ten times in each session, for a total of one minute of exercise.

All of the participants had hypertension and taking medication to control it. By the end of the study, the blood pressure of all the participants had decreased to normal healthy levels — with no change in their medication or diet.

The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s, the most common kind of dementia, is projected to double by 2050. It’s already it’s already shocking how many people die from dementia throughout the U.S. This is how many people die from dementia in every state.