Walking Benefits for Alzheimer's
Early in the mornings (especially the warm ones that seem to happen 10 months of the year in Texas), I often resort to dressing in exercise garb. My miniature schnauzer, Zoe, immediately perks up as she sees me slip socks onto my feet. I can read her body language as she seems to excitedly ask: "A walk? We're going for a walk?" Some days my answer is yes, some days it's later, and some days the possibility of a walk goes on the back burner due to a hectic schedule. Still, I appreciate the canine prodding.
Now there's additional research that indicates that regular walking and moderate exercise is good for you and can actually help prevent dementia. A study being published the December 19, 2007 issue of Neurology found that people age 65 and older who regularly walk and get other forms of moderate excerise appear to significantly lower their risk of developing vascular dementia. However, this study also found that physical activity was not associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease (although researchers warned that additional research is needed before reaching any final conclusion).
This news helps me renew my commitment to continuing to exercise and to try to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to avoid all types of dementia. Since Mom's diagnosis two years ago, I have consciously worked on improving my diet, lowering my stress level, exercising my brain, and maintaining social contacts. Adding a regular physical exercise just makes a lot of sense when you take a holistic view of health.
Which brings me to an important announcement that is going to please one little dog: "Zoe, go get your leash...."