Physical Activity May Cut Risk of Dementia and Alzheimers

By Kerri Whatley and the TLS Team

A recent study shows that it’s not just the running and working out that will help lower your risk, most house hold chores, playing cards, and even rolling in a wheel chair could help.

The first study done was to measure, objectively, the amount of physical activity participants did. Researchers asked 716, on average 82 year old people who showed no signs of dementia to wear an actigraph. A device to measure their physical activity for 10 days. If the participants moved, the actigraph machine recorded it. The study lasted roughly three and a half years, in which 71 of the 716 participants developed Alzheimer’s disease.

Movements count, but intense movements count more.

  • People who only took part in the day to day activities were two times more likely to eventually succumb to a degenerative disease than those who did more activities more often.
  • Let’s not forget that Alzheimer’s if a very complex disease in which experts don’t have an easy fix. One thing they do know is that one of the key factors for any degenerative disease in inflammation. Exercise can help prevent that. A study done in the Journal of Applied Physiology, for example shows that exercise protects against chronic inflammation disease.

To be beneficial, exercise should be a little tough.

  • A study done in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, shows that when we exercise for 45 minutes our metabolism could be boosted for over 14 hours after that one workout, it also found that it could help burn an additional 190 calories after you leave the gym.
  • To actually receive the full benefits of a great workout including burning fat and protecting your brain, you simply need to step it up a little bit. All in all you can’t change your genes but you can bump up your activity to help out.

Whenever you start to complain about having to do the dishes or clean the house, remember that any physical activity can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s at any age.