Housework, dancing, walking – all these things can help prevent the onset of degenerative diseases
RESEARCH SUGGESTS that exercise can help lower the risk or delay the approach of Alzheimer’s or dementia. This doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym or taking up a new sport.
Experts advise at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. And there are plenty of ways to hit this target – swimming, cycling or an aerobics class for starters.
For most of us, walking is an easy option – make sure you walk briskly and pump your arms. Whenever you need to make a journey of less than a mile, leave the car behind, forget the bus and walk. If it’s longer, park a mile away from your destination or get off the bus a few stops early and do the same. Look at ways to increase your everyday activity, too.
There’s no need to disrupt your normal routine or splash the cash to up your exercise quota.
Here are some ideas to get you moving
Doing housework or DIY? Set yourself a time limit, turn on some upbeat music and give it your all.
At work, use the loos a floor or two up or down from your own.
Meeting with friends in a bar or café? Suggest going for a swim, bike ride or walk instead.
Always be the first on the dance floor – and the last to leave.
Get together with colleagues or neighbours and form a fitness club. Once a week (or more), meet up and take it in turns to suggest an activity that’ll get you all moving – from pitch and putt to ice skating or a jog round the park.
Volunteer for Green Gym projects – countrywide outdoor conservation work that’s guaranteed to get you feeling fitter and happier. Visit tcv.org.uk/greengym.
For Alzheimer’s sufferers…
Exercise may also help those who already have Alzheimer’s. A recent review by The Cochrane Collaboration found activity improved patients’ cognitive skills and their ability to get out of a chair.