Walking Can Delay Alzheimer’s Symptoms

New studies have shown that simple exercise such as walking helps improve people’s brain function and memory.

Exercise, which is typically recommended for energy boosts, stress relief, and weight loss, is now considered a weapon in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This condition is a heart-rending illness that deprives both patients and families significant moments of happiness by gradually eviscerating the personality and mind of the sufferer. If the condition is diagnosed early, there are medications available that can help slow down the advancement of Alzheimer’s or relieve the symptoms; however, there is no known cure for the disease.

In a relatively recent research, results show that moderate exercise can stop the development of AD by retarding an early symptom of the disease: the degradation of memory.

The results were based on over 1,700 adults with ages 65 and beyond who at the start of the study did not have dementia. It is important to remember that dementia is not a normal consequence of aging, although it commonly occurs with age. In older adults, the most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s. The participants in the study who exercised a minimum three times a week were about 1/3 less likely to suffer from dementia – mainly Alzheimer’s – after six years.

The conductors of the study randomly designated to the older subjects who had with a high probability of getting dementia into either an education program or a 6-month exercise program. The subjects assigned to the exercise program were advised to undergo a program that involved 50 minutes of exercise three times a week, with walking being the exercise most often recommended. After 18 months, the participants’ cognitive function was analyzed.

Using a conventional cognition test on the patients with Alzheimer’s, the researchers discovered that the subjects in the exercise group scored better compared to the score of those in the education program. The exercise group also scored better on the dementia rating scale. Researchers noted that the small amount of activity were commensurate to the smallness of the gains. They likewise stated that slowing down the advent of dementia by just a year for each subject meant more than 9 million fewer dementia cases globally.

The authors of the study mentioned that the exercise had a significant effect on memory which is especially significant considering the subjects only availed themselves of moderate exercise.

Physical and mental fitness go hand in hand and it is impossible to enjoy good mental health without being physically fit. Exercise is not only good for the heart but also good for the brain. What people traditionally believe as risk factors for cardiovascular and heart disease are actually risk factors for cognitive degradation as well. A diet high in antioxidants (as those found in fruits that are brightly colored) combined with aerobic exercise can safeguard the brain from cellular damage related to cognitive disorders.

Therefore, in order to maintain your mental sharpness throughout life, it’s very important to stay active and fit in mind and body. It is very much possible to slow down the aging process, even if you can’t stop it completely.