Someone sent me this interesting study the other day about the impact cardiovascular fitness has on the onset of dementia.
In short, the study looked at a group of 1,462 Swedish women aged 38-60. It tracked them over a 44 year period and looked at the relationship between their cardiovascular fitness and the incidence of dementia in the group.
The study found that women with a high cardiovascular fitness level (measured by work capacity on a cycling ergometer) delayed the onset of dementia by 9.5 years compared to those with a low fitness level, and what was maybe most surprising to me, by 5 years compared to those with a medium fitness level.
First off, these findings are pretty stunning. Cardiovascular exercise has a range of health benefits, but very few people initially pursue it with the intention of preserving cognitive function.
Similarly. we'll often look at exercise performance with the idea of 'good-enough'. What's strong enough to get most of the benefits of strength, what's lean enough to achieve favorable health markers, etc.
This study suggests that the point of diminishing returns is actually fairly far off in relation to the benefits of cardiovascular health on staving off dementia.
Time to get that erg work in!!