Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
The Exercise Prescription: Moderate to vigorous walking program
The Dose: 45 minutes of cardio or walking three times per week, plus three days of resistance training
Repeated studies have connected physical activity with reducing rates of dementia, improving cognition, increasing the size of the hippocampus and delaying the development of Alzheimer’s disease. A longitudinal study from the Ontario Brain Institute that examined 55 physical-activity studies and found that people over 65 who were physically active were 38 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who were inactive – this means that one in seven cases of Alzheimer’s could be prevented with a more active lifestyle. Exercise stimulates the brain’s ability to make connections and encourages new cell growth. A separate study of seniors found that tai chi, in particular, can improve balance and coordination and slow the degenerative effects of dementia.