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While scientists have long recommended physical activity to keep the brain healthy, research now shows that regular stretching and physical activity can help older adults with mild memory problems.
Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine recruited 300 adults with mild cognitive decline to perform aerobic exercise, stretching and balance exercises. The groups were split into these two exercises, twice a week, with a personal trainer, and individually trained twice a week for 12 months.
The study was presented Tuesday at the 2022 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in San Diego, California. All participants had some form of mild cognitive impairment, one of the early stages of dementia, and lived a sedentary lifestyle.
Overall, the two groups performed 31,000 workouts, said study author Laura Baker. At the end of the experiment, none of the group members experienced cognitive decline, compared with a control group of participants with similar mild cognitive impairment but no training.
Alzheimer’s disease deaths rise 26% in first year of COVID-19 pandemic: study
Baker told The Associated Press that the stallion’s results show “it’s doable for everyone,” especially older adults with limited exercise. Additionally, she recommends that exercise “should be part of a prevention strategy” for older adults who are already at risk.
Alzheimer’s Association chief scientist Maria Carrillo told The Associated Press that previous research has shown that daily physical activity can help reduce inflammation in the brain and increase the amount of blood circulating in the brain.
Baker also noted that having a social group or support network is crucial for older participants.
Alzheimer’s disease affects 6.5 million older Americans
Participants receive regular support as they move through their YMCA facility, Video calls are being made regularly after Covid-19 shut down gyms, according to the Associated Press.
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