Seniors who did as little as 15 minutes a day of modest exercise, such as walking on a treadmill desk three days a week, reduced their risk of developing dementia by approximately 30% according to recent studies.
The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggests that even a short, brisk walk every day might help ward off the disease. The study adds to a growing body of scientific research that suggests exercise is as good for the brain as it is for the body.
Daily exercise may delay the onset of Alzheimer's and reduce the number of people with the disease as well. Alzheimer's, which is increasingly common after the age of 60, causes memory loss, confusion and behavioral changes and currently affects 4.5 million Americans. This number is expected to increase 4 fold by the year 2050. Why is this Alzheimer's accelerating at such a rate? Americans are living longer but are more sedentary than ever before. This accelerate progression could be greatly reduced with proper lifestyle and exercise choices such as daily walking.
Researchers at the University of Chicago found the brains in physically active mice had 50 to 80 percent less plaque than the brains of sedentary mice and that exercising mice produced significantly more of an enzyme in the brain that prevents plaque.
Dr. Ronald Petersen, director of the Alzheimer's Research Center at the Mayo Clinic offered some profound advice: "Regular physical exercise is probably the best means we have of preventing Alzheimer's disease today, better than medications, better than intellectual activity, better than supplements and diet."
The challenge for many is finding the time to be active when strapped to an office chair 8-10 hours per day. Incorporating walking with a TrekDesk treadmill desk into an individual's daily life while they are paying bills, reading, watching TV or talking on the phone can offer the exercise component so necessary in battling the onset of this serious disease.