alzheimers diseaseAlzheimer’s is one of the most feared diseases associated with old age. Finding a medical cure for it is one of medical science’s top priorities, and research continues apace. But did you know that there are things that you yourself can do to improve your chances of falling foul of this terrible illness?

Your brain is one of the most important parts of your body. It not only controls all physical and mental activity, it also allows you to interact with your environment in so many ways. Take your sight for example. Yes, your eyes are the receptors of the light that gets transformed into meaningful pictures, but it is of course your brain that takes the light, and the data that it carries, and transforms it into recognizable images.

It is wholly possible to have fully functional eyes, complete with all of the optic nerves intact, and yet still be totally blind. All it takes is some sort of problem with the neural pathways that your brain creates, and you will get impaired vision, or even total blindness. It is your brain that controls everything that you do, even to the extent of keeping you breathing while you are asleep.

Given how vitally important your brain is to your very existence, it is quite surprising that most people do so very little to keep their brains as healthy as possible. But at long last, some more enlightened people are beginning to take more notice. Your brain, although it is an advanced organ, actually behaves like a muscle. It is the motor force behind everything that you do, and it is sending out millions of signals throughout your body every second of your life, and just like any other muscle in your body, your brain can benefit from regular physical exercise.

In a disease such as Alzheimer’s whereby neural pathways are being closed down, helping to cause that dreadful loss of memory and awareness, any exercises that you can do that prolong the longevity of those neural networks can only help to stave off the oncoming signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Experts are now agreed that physical exercise really does help to stimulate the brain. For its survival and well-being, your brain relies entirely on a good healthy supply of blood being constantly fed into it. Regular cardiovascular exercise is the best known form of exercise to stimulate your blood supply. It concentrates its effort on speeding up your metabolism by making your heart work harder. It also exercises your lungs, which when combined with a more efficient heart both enrich and boost your supply of blood and its circulation to all parts of the body, including your brain.

But don’t start thinking that cardiovascular exercise means hefting great big weights about! Weight lifting is certainly one aspect of cardio, but so is jogging, cycling, swimming, and walking; in fact moderate walking for just 30 minutes each day can really help to speed up your metabolism, boosting and improving your blood circulation. It also has the benefit of helping you to keep fit and control your weight. Because walking is not too strenuous, it’s also an ideal form of exercise for senior citizens, and as such may really help to keep those neural pathways open and fight against the early onset of Alzheimer’s.

Medical studies have proven that elderly people who walk for a mere 20 minutes per day show signs of significant memory improvement, as well as cutting their risk of experiencing a stroke (another major brain disease) by up to 57%.

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