A new study reveals that physical exercise plays a critical role in preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, the study suggests that one in seven cases of Alzheimer’s could be avoided if inactive people boosted their physical activity.
The study, which was carried out by the Ontario Brain Institute and involved an examination of more than 50 studies dealing with physical activity, recommends all adults get at least 150-minutes of moderate to intense physical exercise each week.
The study’s lead author, Professor Michael Rotondi of York University’s School of Kinesiology and Health Science, said his team found that seniors who got at least this much physical exercise were 38-percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
There’s still much work to be done to determine how physical exercise can keep the degenerative brain disease at bay. Dr. Tiffany Chow, a Toronto-based Alzheimer’s expert, says exercise helps with circulation and brings more glucose and oxygen to the brain.
Chow adds that it’s important for older adults to find physical activities they can share with others. “Just being with other people who are enjoying something with you takes away the isolation that can contribute to apathy, more cognitive impairment and feelings of depression,” Chow said.
There’s no denying that Alzheimer’s disease is a growing problem. In fact, the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada currently estimates that the number of cases will more than double–to more than a million–by the year 2038.