Not everyone wants to grab their gear and get down to the gym, but no one can afford to ignore the huge health benefits of regular physical activity when it comes to cutting the risks of heart disease, cancers, and now new research shows Alzheimer’s disease.
A new study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, finds that any kind of exercise can improve brain volume and cut the risk of the disease by 50 percent. So, if you’re not a gym person, but you are concerned about Alzheimers, perhaps gardening, dancing or using an exercise cycle like Excy while watching TV or out with your friends might be the answer.
This research, conducted by investigators at UCLA Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh, is the first to show that virtually any type of aerobic physical activity can improve brain structure and reduce Alzheimer’s risk. The study, funded by the National Institute of Aging, was published on March 11 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
There is currently no cure, and interventions focus on Alzheimer’s disease prevention through lifestyle management.
Lead author Cyrus A. Raji, MD, PhD, of UCLA said, “This is the first study in which we have been able to correlate the predictive benefit of different kinds of physical activity with the reduction of Alzheimer’s risk through specific relationships with better brain volume in such a large sample.”
George Perry, PhD, Editor in Chief of Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, added, “Currently the greatest promise in Alzheimer’s disease research is lifestyle intervention including increased exercise. Raji et al present a landmark study that links exercise to increases in grey matter and opens the field of lifestyle intervention to objective biological measurement.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease currently affects 5.1 million Americans and is projected to increase to 13.8 million over the next 30 years.
Dr. Raji commented, “We have no magic bullet cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Our focus needs to be on prevention.”
During our early testing with seniors, we have heard consistent feedback that many seniors want to exercise more, but going out for a brisk walk isn’t as easy as it sounds for everyone. We’ve had seniors voice safety concerns from a fear of falling or feeling a security risk of going out after dark. Often times, seniors also have a debilitating injury that causes them pain or arthritis symptoms of pain and stiffness in their knees, hips, and joints. Seniors have been very interested in using Excy as both an arm cycle and exercise cycle while watching TV. With retirees averaging 4.2 hours of TV-viewing each day, we believe we can turn one of their favorite leisure times into an opportunity to get regular physical activity. But, we can also help seniors get outside with Excy to exercise cycle with their friends and get fresh air. We’ve even had one of our early customers, a recent retiree with Plantar Fasciitis, order an Excy so he could cycle at the dog park while his wife walks the dogs. Excy can also be used for strength training.
With new research showing that regular physical activity like exercise cycling, gardening, dancing and more might help cut Alzheimer’s risk, it’s very important that we do everything we can to get seniors moving. At Excy, we look forward to doing our part in not only helping seniors increase their cardio, but also tone their muscles with total body cycling.
Here’s a quick video that captures a few Excy cycling system workouts.