A study published in a recent online issue of Neurology suggests a possible connection between walking and a reduced risk of developing memory problems. The study consisted of recording the daily walking distances of approximately three hundred people of the average age of seventy eight. Brain scans were performed at pre-determined intervals to measure the subject’s volume of gray matter.
At the nine year mark, the participants in the study who walked the most had a higher volume of gray matter than those who walked less. Information revealed in the study indicates to researchers that people who walk an average of about six or more miles a week may be able to lower their risk of developing memory loss by as much as fifty percent.
The physical health benefits of regular walking are well advertised. Participating in regular walks as part of your fitness program can help to keep your weight in check and it can increase cardio vascular fitness to keep your heart healthy. Add the possible positive effects revealed in this study on cognitive function and walking is an even more attractive activity of choice.
Maintaining mobility and cognitive function are often two of the biggest factors in elderly people being able to stay in their own homes with regular visits from a home nurse as opposed to moving into a facility. If regular walking sessions adding up to just six miles a week can have positive benefits on both of those areas of your life, it makes perfect sense to lace up your walking shoes sooner rather than later.
If you are considering taking up walking for fitness, be sure to consult your doctor or health care provider prior to beginning in order to get clearance.