Fitness in Middle Age Lowers Dementia Risk



A new study finds that being physically fit in middle age may protect against Alzheimer’s disease later in life.


 

 

FITNESS IN MIDDLE AGE LOWERS DEMENTIA RISK

The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are predicted to rise significantly as our population continues to age.  At the present time, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and most other forms of dementia.

While the primary cause (or causes) of Alzheimer’s disease remains unclear at this time, it is clear that advancing age, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels all appear to be linked with this debilitating and irreversible form of dementia.  At the same time, it is also well known that regular exercise can reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated high cholesterol levels.  Now, a newly published research study, which appears in the Annals of Internal Medicine, strongly suggests that being physically fit during mid-life may also help to protect against Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia later in life.

In this study, 19,458 middle-aged adults were assessed for their level of physical fitness between 1971 and 2009.  After an average of 25 years of follow-up, 1,659 of these research volunteers went on to be diagnosed with dementia. When researchers correlated levels of physical fitness during mid-life with the incidence of dementia later in life, they found that higher levels of physical fitness in middle age appeared to be protective against Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia later in life.  In fact, the research volunteers with the highest levels of physical fitness during their middle age years were 36 percent less likely to develop dementia during the course of this study, when compared with volunteers who were at the lowest levels of physical fitness during mid-life.

In addition to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, the findings of this newly published clinical study strongly suggest that regular exercise during middle age is also associated with a significant reduction in the risk of developing dementia later in life.  In view of the many health benefits associated with regular exercise, if you are not currently getting 3 to 4 hours of at least moderate exercise per week, then please see your physician and a personal trainer, and begin your own personal exercise program!


Links to Other Breaking Health News

Horse Meat Scandal Rocks Britain

Why Do Boys Receive Lower Grades than Girls?

Negative Emotions and Feelings Can Damage Your Health

Canker Sore Drug Cures Obesity (At Least in Mice…)

How Technology is Changing the Practice of Medicine

New Salt Intake Guidelines for Children

High Levels of Distress in Childhood May Increase Risk of Heart Disease in Adulthood

Quitting Tobacco by Age 40 Restores a Normal Lifespan in Smokers

Cancer Death Rates Continue to Fall

Self-Help Books Improve Depression

Marines Try Mindfulness and Meditation to Reduce PTSD

Dying Nurse Volunteers Herself to Teach Nursing Students about the Dying

Regular Walks Cut Stroke Risk

Falling Asleep While Driving More Common than Previously Thought

Growing Immune Cells to Fight Cancer

Celebrity Health Fads Debunked

Thousands of Surgery Mistakes Are Still Happening Each Year

New Graphic Antismoking Ads Debut in England

Kids with Food Allergies May Become Targets of Bullies

Obesity Among Young Children May Be Declining

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Satisfaction with Life May Actually Increase with Age

Brain Changes in the Elderly May Increase Susceptibility to Being Scammed

“Talking” Therapy May Help Depression When Antidepressant Medications Fail

New Egg-Free Flu Vaccine

Graphic Cigarette Labels in Australia

Predicting Childhood Obesity at Birth

Inexpensive Power Foods

 

 

Dr. Wascher’s latest video:

Dark as Night, Part 1


Dark as Night, Part 1

Dark as Night, Part 1


At this time, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is now more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.


For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.




Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


 

Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people from around the world who visit this premier global health information website every month.  Over the past 12 months, more than 2.5 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious readers.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 


Bookmark and Share





































Post to Twitter

Fitness Video Games Compare Well with Traditional Exercise

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



FITNESS VIDEO GAMES COMPARE WELL WITH TRADITIONAL EXERCISE

Although I was initially opposed to the idea, my wife recently decided to buy a Nintendo Wii game system for our 9 year-old daughter and 6 year-old son.  Like many school-age children, our two kids already seem to have more sports classes, academic classes outside of school, and play dates than they have time to attend.  (Oh, and let’s not forget about the daily deluge of homework that they bring home each evening from school!)  Having been overruled by my wife, however, I resigned myself to yet another distraction (centered around the television) for our children to deal with each day.

Soon after setting up the Wii gaming system in our home, our two children were happily immersed in playing various fantasy games with each other, leaping around our living room while clutching the wireless remotes, screaming and laughing the whole time.  Every now and then, despite my feigned lack of interest in their new gaming toy, I would also find myself drawn into a vigorous game of Wii bowling or Wii table tennis.  While playing these and other Wii games with our hyperkinetic 9 year-old daughter, I actually found myself working up a bit of a sweat in the process!  Soon thereafter, we purchased some additional “Wii Fitness” games, as well, including a “step pad” that allows players to perform stepping exercises with a group of imaginary fellow steppers.  And so I watched, with some amusement, as our rambunctious 9 year-old daughter briskly hopped up and down from the step pad along with her imaginary stepping friends, clapping her hands and flailing her arms about in the process.

While I still have some reservation about having a video gaming system in our home, I was impressed that our exercise-adverse kids had found an entertaining way to burn off some extra calories using Wii fitness games.  This week’s health research review column is, therefore, focused on the potential health benefits that may be associated with fitness-related video games (“exergames”), including the Nintendo Wii system that we have in our living room.

A newly published clinical research study, which appears in the current issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, sought to actually measure the amount of calories burned while playing video-based “exergames.”  In this study, 39 boys and girls (average age was 12 years) were asked to participate in several different fitness-related video games.  These games included Dance Dance Revolution, Light Space Bug Invasion, Nintendo Wii Boxing, Cybex Trazer Goalie Wars, Sportwall, and Xavix J-Mat.  These children were also asked to walk on a treadmill set at a 3 mile-per-hour (mph) pace.  Using standardized metabolic measuring equipment, the energy expenditure associated with these physical activities was measured in “metabolic equivalent task values” (or “mets”).

At a time when obesity is rampant among both adults and children, the findings of this new study have further decreased my reservations regarding the Nintendo Wii gaming system that now resides in our living room.  First of all, the six different measured activities all significantly raised these children’s energy expenditures above resting levels.  Walking at a moderately brisk 3 mph on a treadmill resulted in an average energy expenditure of 4.9 mets.  In comparison, while playing Wii Boxing, these kids reached an average of 4.2 mets.  The energy expenditure of the remaining four “exergames” was even more impressive:  5.4 mets for Dance Dance Revolution, 5.9 mets for Cybex Trazer Goalie Wars, 6.4 mets for Light Space Bug Invasion, 7.0 mets for Xavix J-Mat, and 7.1 mets for Sportwall.

The findings of this study are very impressive.  Just to place the measured energy expenditures noted with the six activities assessed in this clinical research study into perspective, moderate physical activity, which includes activities such as walking at a brisk pace, swimming, and moderate-paced bicycle riding is associated with an average energy expenditure of 3 to 6 mets.  Vigorous physical activity, which includes such activities as jogging, mountain climbing, singles tennis, or riding a bicycle uphill, involves an energy expenditure of more than 6 mets.  All five of these “exergames” were associated with an energy expenditure level of at least “moderate physical activity,” while three of these gaming systems were actually associated with “vigorous physical activity” levels more commonly associated with intense levels of aerobic exercise.

As we struggle with the rising incidence of obesity among an increasingly sedentary generation of boys and girls in the United States, and in many other countries around the world, the use of “exergames,” such as those that were evaluated in this clinical research study, may offer our children an opportunity to combine the video gaming that so many of them love to play with levels of exercise that were formerly associated with the high-intensity sports that are, increasingly, being eliminated from school-based and after-school physical fitness programs.  The findings of this important study strongly suggest that it is possible to combine video-gaming with significant levels of exercise, and in a format that many children will find entertaining and fun to engage in.  So, in the end, my wife’s decision to purchase the Nintendo Wii system may not have been such a bad idea after all….

 

For a complete evidence-based discussion about exercise as part of an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race. For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!


On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.





Bookmark and Share



 

 

Post to Twitter

Better Tag Cloud