Alzheimer's disease effects 340,000 Australians, sadly this number is expected to rise to 400,000 within the next decade. The disease is irreversible, destroying a persons thinking and memory skills and will cause the sufferer to become incapable of completing even the most simplest of tasks.
You may be thinking it is odd to see a blog post on this site about Alzheimer's however we have always held the opinion that prevention is better than a cure, and this is where exercise comes in.
The brain of a person with Alzheimer's has undergone specific changes and is now full of plaques and tangles (refer picture below)
Exercise has been shown to promote the brain's ability to mend nerve cell death as well as promote an increase in hippocampus volume (the hippocampus is associated with memory function)
Now before we run off to the gym it is important to note that not all types of exercise had the same desired effect. In the study conducted by Gregory Panza of the Hartford Hospital (USA), revealed that persons who engaged in aerobic exercise were three times better off than those who did a combined aerobic & strengthening exercise routine. This is not to say that a strength training routine does not have its place in one's fitness and health regime however the study focused on 'at risk individuals'
The World Health Organisation has since gone on to say that exercise may delay the decline in cognitive function that occurs in individuals who are at risk or currently have Alzheimers disease.
Its not like we ever needed another reason to get out of bed and hit the cross trainer but it would be safe to say preventing Alzheimer's can now be added to the ever growing list of benefits you will reap from living a healthy and active lifestyle
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