Walking and weight training protect aging brain

There’s been some encouraging news emerging about dementia prevention recently.

And according to four new studies presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference held this summer in Vancouver, exercise may be one of the best ways to protect yourself.

One of the studies involved 120 sedentary adults without dementia. Half of them were assigned to a walking group. The other half did stretching exercises. A year later, each volunteer had their brain’s hippocampus (the memory region) measured with an MRI.

In just one-year’s time, the size of the hippocampus increased by 2 percent in the walking group. This is significant because shrinking of this brain region is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s.

Another study found that resistance training (also called weight training, or strength training) led to improvements in three brain regions involving memory. You can get these effects at home by lifting some 5-pound weights while you watch TV. Twice a week–that’s all you need.

This research reaffirms what I’ve been advising my patients for YEARS now. You can stave off all sorts of serious chronic diseases–including dementia–with just a little bit of effort every day. And you don’t have to spend hours in the gym. In fact, you don’t even have to break a sweat.

Just a simple walk every day, and some light weight training a couple of times a week. That’s all it takes to protect your body–and your mind.

And for even more detailed information on how to protect yourself from Alzheimer’s, be on the lookout for the upcoming September issue of my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter.