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In recent years, several studies have found that older people are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia if they engage in vigorous exercise, such as jogging, swimming, or brisk walking.
People who are too frail or out of shape to hit the pool or treadmill shouldn’t despair, however. According to a new study, even mundane, low-key tasks like gardening, cooking, and washing dishes can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s if they’re performed often enough.
The study, which was published this week in the journal Neurology, included 716 dementia-free men and women in their 70s and 80s. Compared to the most active people, those with the lowest levels of overall physical activity had more than double the risk of going on to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Greater physical activity was also associated with a slower rate of aging-related memory and cognitive decline.
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