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Walking Slows Brain Shrinkage and may Prevent or Delay Alzheimers and Dementia

Posted Oct 27 2010 8:15pm

In Pittsburgh, a study watched 300 people who kept records of how much they walked each week. It was determined that those who walked at least 30-60 minutes a day , for at least 5 days a week had less brain shrinkage than those who walked less.

Kirk Erickson of the University of Pittsburgh studied the reports and proposed in the journal of Neurology that brain size shrinks in late adulthood which can cause memory problems. He also stated that “These results should allow for well designed trials of physical exercise in older adults as a promising approach for averting or delaying dementia and Alzheimer’s problems.”

We already know that exercise (walking in particular) is good for the heart .  It only makes sense that it would be good for the brain as well. Healthy exercise and a balanced diet should be the goal for everyone whether worried about the brain or not. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia which unfortunately slowly kills the brain cells, while activities like walking have been revealed to build brain volume.

So while we’re already making the effort to exercise our brain with reading , playing games, working crosswords and other puzzles to delay the progression of dementia, now we might add physical exercise (a nice walk every day) to the list of tools to fight Alzheimer’s. My son often tells me when I complain about weight gain, “You gotta keep moving, Mom.” I think he’s right.

If you’re looking for the complete gift for your entire family this holiday season, I highly recommend the Wii Game Console.  My husband and I purchased the Bundle 3 years ago so we’d have something for the grand-kids to play when they were here.  (Is my face totally “red!” – Hubby and I play it all the time whether the grand-kids are here or we’re totally alone.  I can tell you–he even cheats at bowling . Okay, he doesn’t cheat– but he does beat me every time. The great thing about the Wii is the variety of games that are available. We bought the bundle and luckily, the games included suited us just fine. Resort which includes the wave-runner, skiing, sky-diving, and more, is our favorite with lots of exercise and fun games included. Of course, Mario’s Karts is always fun too. I have one game just for me, Walk It Out which makes walking that 60 minutes a day lots of fun because you build a city while you walk. If you’re a care-giver, I think your loved one will enjoy it as well.

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