Taking Walks Has Proven Dementia Benefits

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We spend huge swaths of our day sitting, and while the health risks of too much sitting are well documented people still tend to chronically over-sit. But now there's a new report out which lauds yet another health benefit of getting up and walking around: It helps the "brain function and thinking skills of people with dementia."

The study looked specifically at vascular cognitive impairment, which happens when the blood is not pumping to the brain as successfully as it used to. In this study, which was published in April, researchers recruited 38 older people living in British Columbia who all were afflicted with the early stages of vascular cognitive impairment. None of the 38 were regular exercisers.

Some from the group were asked to attend weekly sessions on health and nutrition, while others were asked to walk briskly for at least one hour three times per week. The study only lasted six months, but at the end of that six months, "the walkers had more efficient brains and better thinking skills now than the control group did."

Of course, walking isn't a cure for vascular cognitive impairment but the researchers were heartened to see that something as accessible as walking could have a positive impact. Yet another reason to get up and move around throughout the day.