The evidence is clear, exercising can actually protect the human brain from Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study.
Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, a degenerative and progressive neurological disease, affecting an estimated 850,000 people in the UK, according to the NHS.
As there is currently no cure, research needs to focus primarily on preventative measures, according to researchers from Ontario, Canada.
Study author Kathleen Martin Ginis, said: “As there is no current cure for Alzheimer’s, there is an urgent need for interventions to reduce the risk of developing it and to help manage the symptoms.”
During the study, the team reviewed data from over 150 research articles, about the impact of physical activity on Alzheimer’s, concluding that there is a direct association with a reduced risk in developing the condition.
Stating that older adults not diagnosed with Alzheimer’s who are physically active, were significantly less likely to develop the disease compared to people who were inactive.
Not only that but for people already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, exercising is key to improving daily activities, mobility, and quality of life. Meaning not only is it useful for preventing onset but also to manage it once it has happened.
Martin Ginis, said: “This is exciting work… Now we have the tool to promote the protective benefit of physical activity to older adults. I’m hopeful this will move the needle on this major health concern.”
This work builds on previous studies that also found keeping active reduced the risk of dementia in elderly people.
A 2012 study found that even in those over 80-years-old could be helped to ward off dementia by doing day-to-day activity.