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Go for a walk!

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Terri R.
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Joined: 21 Apr 2004
Posts: 254
Location: So. Calif.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:07 pm    Post subject: Go for a walk! Reply with quote

Cognitive decline is a symptom that signals the possible onset of Alzheimer's disease, which is the leading cause of dementia among aging adults. In September, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published two studies that specifically address the effects of light exercise on cognitive decline in older women and dementia in elderly men.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health conducted the first study. Questionnaires were used to assess physical activity levels and exercise patterns for more than 18,700 women, aged 70 to 81 years. The questionnaires covered a minimum of nine years, and were followed up with two telephone interviews with each subject to assess cognitive health measures such as memory and attention span.

In the conclusion to the study, the Harvard team wrote that significantly better cognitive function and less cognitive decline were both strongly associated with "long-term regular physical activity, including walking."

According to lead researcher, Jennifer Weuve, ScD., women who walked two to three hours at an easy pace each week "performed significantly better on these tests of cognition than women who walked less than one hour per week." And even less cognitive decline was noted in women who walked six or more hours each week.

Another benefit of regular walking among women: In a six-year breast cancer study that included data on more than 74,000 women over the age of 50, researchers found that women who exercise regularly have lower breast cancer rates. And in many cases, only a couple of hours of brisk walking each week may provide enough exercise to reduce breast cancer risk.
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