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Walking slows mental decline

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Start walking if you’re worried about mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease.

It can slow memory loss, and could even reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s, researchers say.

Walking is even more important for people who are already starting to suffer mild cognitive decline, such as not being able to remember things or understand everything that’s going on.

But these symptoms can stabilise and even reverse if you go for a walk at least four days a week, say researchers from the University of Maryland.  

They tested the impact of regular walking on 33 people, aged between 71 and 85, who were experiencing mild cognitive decline.  They walked on a treadmill four days a week for 12 weeks, and their ability to remember details from a short story before and after exercising was monitored, and their brains were also scanned.

By the end of the 12 weeks. The participants showed ‘significant’ improvements in their ability to recall the stories, and scans also showed that connections between three areas of the brain were being re-established.

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References
Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports, 2023; 7: 399; doi: 10.3233/ADR-220062
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