Can we do this? Exercise twice a week for 10 minutes each time to prevent Alzheimer’s disease? Of course, we can.
Researchers examined the records and followed the progress of 250,000 patients who had mild cognitive impairment. They concluded that moderate physical activity more than once a week reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 18%.
We need to do more for our brain health than work the daily crossword puzzle or brush up on our chess skills. Physical exercise protects the brain, too, per the study. The key is that it should be moderate to vigorous exercise.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, examples of moderate exercise include walking 3 to 4 mph, a brisk walk while you’re still able to hold a conversation, as well as vacuuming and washing windows, mowing the lawn and doubles tennis. Other sources are more specific: water aerobics for 30 minutes and raking leaves for 30 minutes.
For comparison, examples of light exercise include washing dishes and using a computer. Vigorous exercises are things like shoveling, singles tennis and playing basketball or soccer.
Having said that, there are more parts of our bodies that need exercise than just our brains. That’s where more time in an activity comes into play. Instead of a mere 10 minutes per day, we’re told to shoot for 150 minutes of exercise per week, or 30 minutes on five days.
One place to start developing an exercise plan is Mayoclinic.org. Type “moderate exercise” in the search box and scroll down the results until you find something interesting. Among the 600 choices are frequency of workout, using weighted hula hoops, Zumba, secrets to a healthy heart and so much more.
The earlier in life we start exercising for our brains and bodies, the longer we’ll stay healthy as we age.