Everyone understands that exercise is important in a healthy lifestyle for helping control excessive weight gain and maintaining muscle mass. But there is research which demonstrates that exercise may ward off the dreaded disease of Alzheimer’s and has been proven to lift the spirits of frail elderly adults.

There are currently about four million elderly Americans affected by Alzheimer’s disease, a number which is expected to double in the next twenty years.

Researchers have found that in the population of older adults, the subjects who exercised between the ages of 20 and 59 were substantially healthier than those who did not. The subjects with Alzheimer’s did not have the same level of activity as the healthy subjects. Running, swimming, tennis, weight training, biking and golf were among the activities regularly done by those who had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Lifetime exercise seems to be the one of the best protections against the development of Alzheimer’s.

It has also been shown that exercise in the form of strength training, stretching, and walking provide a needed emotional boost to frail, elderly adults. Researchers focused on balance training, muscular strength, endurance exercise and stretching. The researchers discovered that the participants experienced a marked improvement in emotional health and specifically how they felt about themselves.

All of this research shows the importance of exercise at every age for our total wellness . . . for our bodies, our minds, and our emotional health.

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information resources: IDEA Health & Fitness Association and American Council on Exercise



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