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Another study links exercise to Alzheimer's prevention

June 28, 2012

Exercise has become a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle for seniors, and for good reason. Staying physically active has proven to prevent many age-related health problems, and results of a recent study only strengthen the correlation. Researchers found that exercise trumps diet control when it comes to preventing Alzheimer's disease.

The study comes from scientists at Japan's Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine and looked at what impact diet alone, exercise alone and exercise and diet together had on Alzheimer's. The researchers found exercise alone was better at restoring memory loss than diet alone. Surprisingly, researchers also found diet control and exercise together offered no greater benefits than exercise alone, once again highlighting the importance of staying physically active.

"Based on the results in this research, exercise should be given priority to prevent Alzheimer's disease," said lead researcher Ayae Kinoshita.

While the research certainly illustrates the importance of exercising later in life, many seniors may be unsure as to what activities are best for them. With so many options, devising a smart workout plan can be difficult. Luckily, there are a few exercises that are especially well-suited for seniors.

Balance exercises are particularly important for older adults. Simple activities such as balancing on one foot, weight shifts and heel raises will all help improve a senior's balance and reduce their risk of falling, the Lance Armstrong Foundation reports.

Of course, balance exercises are not the only activities that offer seniors numerous health benefits. Aerobic activities are also crucial, but sometimes more strenuous exercises like jogging can be hard on older joints. Instead, swimming, cycling or even going for a walk may be better options.