It’s no secret that exercise is key to staying physically and mentally healthy. As the wise Elle Woods famously told us, “exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.”
Well, in addition to making us happier people, a new study has found that exercise helps combat memory loss in people who have cognitive problems. This is incredibly exciting research as Alzheimer’s is one of Americans’ most feared diseases — and, although promising research indicates that there will someday be a drug to treat the illness, other studies have honed in on the role exercise can play in slowing down memory loss.
The individuals in the walking group also saw improvements in their blood pressure and were able to walk longer distances in six minutes — so the benefits are both physical and mental.
We know that aerobic exercise improves blood pressure, but a lesser-known fact is that cardiometabolic risk factors are closely linked to the development of cognitive impairment, which is a common cause of dementia. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, the author of the study, made another important point about why exercise should be used to treat cognitive impairment.
Hopefully, a cure for Alzheimer’s disease will be found sooner rather than later. But, until then, it’s important to know that a simple addition to a person’s daily routine can help combat memory loss.