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Taking a stroll may be the best way to prevent Alzheimer’s

A daily brisk walk may be the best way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease according to a new study.

Researchers found aerobic exercise could delay symptoms of the neurodegenerative disorder and improve brain function. 

Nearly 50 millions people are living with Alzheimer’s disease — the sixth leading cause of death in the US — or other forms of dementia, but we still don’t know what causes it or how to prevent it.

However, this new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reveals for the first time that aerobic exercise offers more protection than other types – building on the huge swell of research showing regular physical activity boosts blood flow into the brain.

Brisk walking may be the best way to prevent Alzheimer’s, according to new research

‘Our findings suggest exercise training may delay the decline in cognitive function that occurs in individuals who are at risk of or have Alzheimer’s disease – with aerobic exercise possibly having the most favorable effect,’ said researcher cardiologist Gregory Panza, of the University of Connecticut.

For the study, Panza and his colleagues reviewed 19 previous studies that examined the effect exercise has on cognitive function in older adults at risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. 

The studies included 1,145 older adults, most of whom were in their mid-to late 70s. 

Sixty-five percent of them were at risk for Alzheimer’s disease and 35 percent had been diagnosed with the degenerative condition.  

All those who exercised showed small improvements in cognitive function no matter what they did.

Researchers discovered that older adults who did aerobic exercise by itself had the greatest improvement in brain function than those who participated in combined aerobic training and strength training exercises.

In other words, a walk around the block is a better way to delay Alzheimer’s symptoms than push-ups or squats.

However, those who didn’t exercise faced significant declines in brain function. 

This isn’t the first study to link physical activity to brain health. 

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found people who exercised for at least an hour a day were more likely to have better glucose metabolism in their brains — a sign of healthy brain activity.

The World Health Organization recommends that older people should engage in physical activity at a moderate level, like brisk walking, for 150 minutes a week.

They also suggest 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic training, and muscle-strengthening exercises at least two or more days a week. 

Signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include memory loss that disrupts daily life, such as getting lost in a familiar place, difficulty completing daily tasks at home or at work, and misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them.