Posts Tagged ‘physical activity’

Activity Level and Alzheimer’s Disease

Thursday, May 17th, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

New research published in the journal Neurology indicates that performing everyday activities — including those that don’t officially meet the definition of "exercise" — may lower one’s risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers, led by Aron Buchman of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, found that elderly persons who moved about more (compared to their less active peers) were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. This was true even for active persons who did not work out, but who nevertheless kept busy by gardening or puttering around the house.

The study involved more than700 subjects, average age 82, without dementia. Their activity was monitored for up to ten days by an actigraph. The actigraph, a small device worn by the subjects, detected when they engaged in conventional forms of exercise, as well as when they moved around in other ways.>

Fast forward roughly four years. During that follow-up period, 71 subjects developed the signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Those in the 10 percent of subjects who were most active showed an 8 percent likelihood for developing signs of the illness. Those in the 10 percent of subjects who were least active had an 18 percent likelihood.

Since 602 of the 716 test subjects were female, it is not clear whether this study’s results can be applied to the general population. As no cause and effect relationship has been proven, one question that remains unanswered is: "Which comes first, lower activity level or cognitive decline?" (It is possible that experiencing the initial stages of Alzheimer’s disease somehow leads people to slow down.) Even so, this investigation adds to earlier research suggesting a possible connection between regular physical activity and brain health. Increasing all types of movement may be healthful in the long run.

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Mental Distress Tied to Physical Disability

Friday, April 20th, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Older adults experiencing depression or anxiety are more vulnerable to physical disabilities, according to an Australian study published recently in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.However, researchers found that performing regular physical activity can help to guard against such outcomes.

The scientists analyzed data on approximately 100,000 Australian men and women ages 65-plus. Psychological distress was detected in 8.4 percent of the subjects. The risk for physical disability was more than four times higher in those with any degree of psychological distress, compared to those with none. It was almost seven times higher in those with moderate levels of psychological distress.

The good news: Investigators found that the older adult subjects who were more physically active were less prone to physical disabilities. In a news release, lead author Gregory Kolt of the University of Western Sydney wrote, "Our findings can influence the emphasis that we place on older adults to remain active. With greater levels of physical activity, more positive health gains can be achieved, and with greater physical function (through physical activity), greater independence can be achieved."

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Inactivity and Diverticular Disease

Monday, December 5th, 2011 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

In diverticular disease, bulging pouches develop in the lining of the large intestine. The condition is fairly prevalent in older adults and is often treated by increasing a patient’s consumption of dietary fiber. Now Swedish researchers, reporting in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, have found that obese, physically inactive subjects are at a higher risk for hospitalization due to diverticular disease.

Like many scientific studies, the Swedish analysis of health-survey data (which was collected over the course of 10-plus years from 40,000 female participants) does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. In this case, that means that a cause-and-effect association has not been established between being heavy or sedentary and developing diverticular disease. However, the paper’s lead author suggests that exercising and losing weight may help to prevent the symptoms.

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Healthy lifestyle choices have been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Healthy lifestyle choices have been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer, even for women with a family history of contracting the disease. In a lengthy study of over 85,000 women, researchers at the University of Rochester “observed that regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and drinking less alcohol lowers breast cancer risk for women with, and without a family history of the disease.” Click below for report from the University or Rochester Medical Center.

 

 

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