Here’s another compelling reason to make time for exercise: a recent study found exercise can help to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.
This study looked specifically at early onset Alzheimer’s. Three hundred seventy-two people took part, and all had biomarkers for autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease, or ‘ADAD.’
That means they have a genetic defect or change. This, unfortunately, gives them a 100 percent chance of developing Alzheimer’s, with many diagnosed in their 40s or 50s.
Now getting back to the study, researchers found the participants who did 150 minutes or more of physical activity per week were more likely to delay the start of symptoms when compared to low exercisers.
So this is great news because an ADAD diagnosis is devastating. This study offers hope when it comes to delaying the onset of this much-dreaded disease.
We can’t yet say for certainty that one type of exercise works better than others. But past research has shown cardio exercise along with strength and balance training is very beneficial.
When you exercise, you increase blood flow and oxygen to your brain along with chemicals that protect it.
Now there are other preventative steps you can take so here are my prescriptions:
- Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers in the healthy range. Evidence suggests the risk of heart disease may increase your risk of dementia.
- If you have diabetes, make sure it’s managed properly. As this and smoking are also risk factors that we can control.
- There’s a strong link between head trauma and Alzheimer’s. So, take protective measures like wearing your seat belt and using a helmet when riding a bike or playing sports.
- If you struggle to hear, get your hearing tested and consider a hearing aid. Because if you can’t hear, this impacts your social life - which is needed to help keep your mind sharp and engaged.
Right now there are roughly 5.7 million Americans with Alzheimer’s. And that number is estimated to drastically increase in the coming years.
So please take care of your health. And try to get regular exercise and movement into your daily life. The benefits will enhance your health, and just may be life-changing as well.