A study from the University of California, San Diego found that women who did more moderate to intense activities, such as brisk walking, had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Spouse heads of state and former German skier Christian Neureuther performed Nordic walking during the G7 summit in Germany last June. (European News Agency file photo)
[Adroddiad Guan Shuping/Cynhwysfawr]A study of more than 1,200 women at the University of California, San Diego found that women who walk faster and moderate to vigorous physical activity every day are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease The risk is low.
The research report published in the journal “Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association” on the 25th stated that women over the age of 65 perform moderate to intense physical activity every day. Walking for 31 minutes was associated with a 21 percent reduction in dementia risk; each additional 1,865 steps walked per day was also associated with a 33 percent reduction in dementia risk.
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“Given that dementia begins 20 years before symptoms appear, early intervention is critical to delaying or preventing dementia in older adults,” said lead author Andrea LaCroix, professor of family medicine and public health at UC San Diego. Cognitive decline and dementia in adults is critical.”
The researchers collected data from 1,277 women who participated in two linked studies from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Women’s Health Study (WHI), daily physical activity and time spent sitting still. Tracking showed that these women took an average of 3216 steps per day, performed 276 minutes of light physical activity, 45.5 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity, and sat for 10.5 hours per day.
Light physical activity includes doing housework, gardening, or walking; moderate to vigorous activity includes brisk walking. The researchers cross-referenced this activity time data with mild cognitive impairment and probable dementia cases in the WHI to reach their conclusions. However, the study also found that longer periods of sitting and prolonged sitting were not associated with an increased risk of mild cognitive impairment or dementia.
“Physical activity has been identified as one of the three most promising ways to reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease,” said La Cruz. “Prevention is important because once dementia is diagnosed, it is very difficult to slow or reverse it. There is no cure.”
Encouraging older adults to increase their physical activity to at least a moderate level and take a few extra steps a day can reduce the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, the researchers said.
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