Exercise May Keep Alzheimer's at Bay
Exercise not only helps keep you young, research shows that it may ward off one of the most dreaded diseases of the old - Alzheimer's.
The study compared the exercise habits of 126 elderly patients with Alzheimer's and 315 healthy older adults.
Researchers were particularly interested in the subjects' exercise habits between the ages of 20 and 59.
''The healthy individuals reported significantly more physical activity over the four decades than those with Alzheimer's disease,'' said Dr. Arthur L. Smith, a clinical research fellow at the University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.
''The results suggest that lifelong regular exercise may be protective against the development of Alzheimer's disease.''
Running, swimming, tennis, weight training, biking and golf were among the activities favored by those who demonstrated a lower risk for developing Alzheimer's.
According to Smith and his associates, about four million Americans are believed to be affected by Alzheimer's disease, a number that will likely double by 2030.
In addition to exercise, previous studies suggest that individuals who possess intellectually demanding occupations and higher levels of education and social activity are at a reduced risk for developing Alzheimer's.
Source: American Academy of Neurology, 50th annual meeting, Minneapolis, Minn., April 28, 1998
This appeared in ACE FitnessMatters, ACE's official magazine.
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