According to studies conducted by the American Academy of Neurology, people who are physically fit have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than those who are not. According to a study conducted by experts at Washington Medical Center, as people become more physically fit, their risk of Alzheimer’s disease decreases. This means that people can work on making gradual changes and improvements to their physical fitness to lower their risk of serious disease.
The study, led by Edward Zamrini, M.D., included 649,000 military veterans, the average age of whom was 61. The average period of follow-up was nine years. They did not have Alzheimer’s disease when the study began.The researchers measured participants’ cardio-respiratory endurance to learn how well the body transports oxygen to the muscles and how well the muscles absorb oxygen during exercise.Participants were divided into five groups based on their level of fitness. The participants’ fitness level was determined by how well they performed on the treadmill test. Active walking for 2.5 hours per week could help middle-aged and older people achieve the best fitness level.Alzheimer’s disease developed at a rate of 9.5 cases per 1,000 person-years in the group with the lowest level of physical fitness, compared to 6.4 cases per 1,000 person-years in the healthiest group. As fitness level increased, the incidence rate decreased: 8.5 for the second least fit group, 7.4 for the average group, and 7.2 for the second most fit group.