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Daily Walks Can Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s

A new study suggests that staying fit and active into old age can help reduce the risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s. The study’s results say that being more active could reduce the chances of developing these conditions by a third.  A group of 649,605 military veterans with an average age of 61 were followed for nine years in the study conducted by researchers at the Washington VA Medical Center in Washington DC.

At the beginning of the study, none of the participants had Alzheimer’s. By the end of the study, it was discovered that 9.5 cases of the condition developed for every 1,000 person-years for non-active participants, while active participants saw that number reduced to 6.4 cases for every 1,000 person-years.

The study suggests that walking for two-and-a-half hours a week can have a significant impact.Dr. Edward Zamrini, the author of the study said that walking has improved people’s fitness, their risk of Alzheimer’s disease decreased – it was not an all-or-nothing proposition. People can work toward making incremental changes and improvements in their physical fitness and that will be associated with a related decrease in their risk of Alzheimer’s years later.

He continued that the idea that you can reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease by simply increasing your activity is very promising, especially since there are no adequate treatments to prevent or stop the progression of the disease. They also hope to produce a simple scale that can be individualized so people can notice the benefits that even incremental improvements in fitness can deliver.

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