Walking Six Miles a Week Reduce Risk of Brain Disorders
One study says that at least six miles of walk (equivalent to 10 kilometers) up to nine miles (15 kilometers) a week is believed to protect the shrinkage of brain performance in old age, which in turn can reduce memory problems or dementia.
“So far, we are always looking for a cure or a magic pill what can help people in dealing with brain disorders,” said Kirk Erickson, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh who led the study.
“But, finding solutions to brain disorders are actually much more simple than that. Just by walking regularly, combined with physical activity, you can reduce the chances of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, a syndrome with apoptosis of brain cells at about the same time, so that brain appear to shrink.
Just to note, the research report was supported by U.S. National Institute on Aging, which was published online on October 13.
Erickson and his colleagues started tracking the pattern of physical and cognitive activity in 300 adults in 1989. Initially, all participants have cognitive (thoughts) which are healthy. On average, the selected participants were aged 78 years and about two thirds are women.
Then the research team mapped how many blocks are taken of each person in a week. Nine years later, they were told the high-resolution MRI technology scans to measure brain size. Everything is considered to have normal cognitive.
However, four years after that, the test revealed that at least one third of participants had mild cognitive impairment or dementia.
By correlating cognitive health, brain scans, and walking pattern of the participants, the research team found that participants who are physically active showed the lowest level of reduced risk of cognitive impairment.
More specifically, they conclude that a person who more often walks, the less likely will be affected by disturbances in the hippocampus, part of the cerebrum which is located in the temporal lobe. This section plays a major role in memory and brain space navigation.