A recent study finds exercise doesn’t just help Alzheimer’s symptoms, but may also slow brain degeneration associated with the disease. Researchers found that it was specifically aerobic exercise that appeared to slow shrinkage of a part of the brain involved in memory.
Being active and getting exercise helps people with Alzheimer’s disease feel better. Exercise helps keep their muscles, joints, and heart in good shape. It also helps people stay at a healthy weight and have regular toilet and sleep habits.
“ Exercise is not going to cure Alzheimer’s or dementia, but it anatomically strengthens two of the key targets of both those diseases,” Suzuki says. Mentally, three of the biggest benefits are better mood, memory, and attention.
Experts think the extra mental activity from education may protect the brain by strengthening connections between its cells. Neither education nor brain exercises are a sure way to prevent Alzheimer’s. But they may help delay symptoms and keep the mind working better for longer.
There are many benefits of exercising when you’re a senior, including:
Exercise. “The most convincing evidence is that physical exercise helps prevent the development of Alzheimer’s or slow the progression in people who have symptoms,” says Dr. Marshall. “The recommendation is 30 minutes of moderately vigorous aerobic exercise, three to four days per week.”
Regular aerobic exercise is one of the most effective methods of preventing Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. Research has shown that people with higher levels of physical activity have a lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
Results showed that people who ran over 15 miles per week had a 40% lower risk of dying from Alzheimer’s disease. Research has repeatedly demonstrated a correlation between physical exercise and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia.
The risk: a lack of regular physical activity can increase your risk of heart disease, becoming overweight or obese, and type 2 diabetes, which are all linked to a higher risk of dementia. Older adults who do not exercise are also more likely to have problems with memory or thinking (known as cognitive ability).
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“We found that walking five miles per week protects the brain structure over 10 years in people with Alzheimer’s disease and MCI, especially in areas of the brain’s key memory and learning centers,” said Cyrus Raji, PhD. “We also found that these people had a slower decline in memory loss over five years.” Dr.
Can dementia be prevented?
Exercise. Exercise offers an impressive array of health benefits. It helps prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes; lowers the risk for high blood pressure, colon cancer, and breast cancer; and helps relieve insomnia, anxiety, and depression. In addition, it may help ward off cognitive decline and dementia.