Exercise and Alzheimer’s

exercise and alzheimer's might be linkedDo you think exercise and alzheimer’s might be linked? An article in today’s New York Times reports on a study that shows exercise as a possible mitigating factor for the onset of Alzheimer’s.

We all need to exercise; it is a fact of life that is often disregarded. My father was a case in point. The only exercise I ever saw him do was putting a cigarette (or pipe, or cigar) to his lips repeatedly. He stopped smoking after a massive stroke at 51. But that also meant that his only exercise stopped as well.

 But a cautiously encouraging new study from The Archives of Neurology suggests that, for some people, a daily walk or jog could alter the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or change the course of the disease if it begins.

In our ever more sedentary world most people don’t move enough. Our technology-centered culture actually encourages inactivity. Lord knows I can spend countless hours trolling the Internet from the comfort of my chair. Oh, how I wish that watching exercise videos accomplished more than tiring out my eyes.

We need to exercise. Simple as that — an hour a day. If you can’t do an hour, try fifteen minutes. If you can’t do fifteen minutes…

When I started my walking program I told people that they would need to do fifteen minutes of core work to facilitate the changing of their walking patterns. I soon learned that for some it was a no brainer. Working out was part of their lifestyle. But, for a large chunk of my clients, the idea of exercising was like being punished. I am now down to asking for sixty seconds a day. Whatever you can do is better than doing nothing. The payoff for exercising regularly can be profound; the downside of not exercising will be equally profound.

I am not one who exercises by nature. I force myself to stretch and sweat and move my body. I would really much rather be reading at the computer or watching sports on TV. I know who I am but I know what I don’t want to be.

I hope to age gracefully to a ripe old age but that won’t happen without exercise.

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