Health expert says doing this simple kid-friendly activity with a grandparent three times a week can help reduce their risk of dementia

As well as improving health, you can get in some important grandchild/grandparent bonding time

Grandfather, son and grandson on a walk
(Image credit: Getty Images)

An ageing and health expert has revealed the best activity you can do to reduce the risk of dementia and not only is it great for the body and mind, it's a brilliant way to spend time bonding with a grandparent.

No matter what age you are, your health and wellbeing are always on your mind. Whether you're a parent trying to fit in some essential self-care or quick workouts to avoid parental burnout or you're trying to incorporate more healthy dinner recipes into your family dinner times to keep everyone full of energy, there's always something we feel we could be doing better to look after ourselves and those around us.

When it comes to relatives, it's natural that grandparents will be our main concern when it comes to health. And the number one concern for many is dementia. It's a disease that currently affects around 900,000 people in the UK today and the fallout can be debilitating for the sufferer and deeply upsetting for their family members. 

But while there is no cure, there are preventative measures we can put in place to help reduce a grandparent's risk of developing the disease. For one, it has been proven that spending time with grandkids just once a week can reduce the risk of grandparents developing dementia. And now, an ageing and health expert has revealed the simple exercise that everyone can do with their grandparents to help prevent the disease; walking. 

Speaking on the ZOE Podcast, Claire Steves, a professor of ageing and health at King’s College London, revealed, "You need to get out and do walking [for] 45 minutes, at least three times a week.”

That's for people who currently do little to no exercise. For those who are already quite active, Steves explains, "To improve your cognitive health, you need to do more exercise than you’re doing now. OK, up to a point, unless you’re like an Olympic athlete. That’s the key thing.”

Not only is walking great for grandparents, it brings brilliant benefits for people of all ages. According to Bupa, not only can it keep your body healthy, helping you to maintain a healthy weight, keep your muscles and bones healthly, and improve your heart and cardiovascular fitness, it can also help to improve your mood, reduce stress and anxiety, improve memory, help you sleep better, increase your energy, and reduce the risk of depression.

Going out with a grandparent for a few walks a week can also help to strengthen the bond between grandparent and grandchild, giving even more benefits for grandparents who want to be closer to their grandkids. But it's not just the grandparents who benefit. It's been proven that kids who have a good relationship with their grandparents have less behavioural and emotional problems and, with regular contact between the generations, hopefully less children will loose touch with their grandparents at the shockingly young age most children fall out of contact with their grandparents

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.