Sadly, approximately 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. That number is projected to increase to as much as 14 million by the year 2050.
Alzheimer’s is the only one of the top 10 killers in the U.S. that has no cure. Unfortunately, there aren’t even any treatments that prevent this debilitating cognitive disease. There are, however, a few things that people can do to at least delay early onset Alzheimer’s.
According to the Chicago Tribune, about 2.5 hours of exercise each week could thwart mental declining issues tied to autosomal nominal Alzheimer’s disease (ADAD), which is an inherited form of disease that leads to dementia at an early age.
“The results of this study are encouraging, and not only for individuals with rare genetically caused Alzheimer’s disease,” said Maria Carrillo, chief science officer for the Alzheimer’s Association. “If further research confirms this relationship between physical activity and later onset of dementia symptoms in ADAD, then we need to expand the scope of this work to see if it also is true in the millions of people with more common, late-onset Alzheimer’s.”
The researchers concluded that getting at least 150 minutes per week of physical activity does, in fact, contribute to delaying ADAD progression, stating:
“A physically active lifestyle is achievable and may play an important role in delaying the development and progression of ADAD. Individuals at genetic risk for dementia should, therefore, be counseled to pursue a physically active lifestyle.”
Walking, running, bicycling, and hitting the gym are great for maintaining an active lifestyle, but individuals who are at risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia should look to the fourth most popular athletic activity in the U.S.: swimming.
According to In The Swim, exercising in a pool actually improves cardiac and respiratory health, muscle strength, and improves mood and reduces anxiety. Though aquatic exercise will not completely prevent or halt the profession of Alzheimer’s, it can still be great for both the body and mind. Consider developing a daily fitness routine and save a few minutes each day for a nice swim or water workout.