Get Outside And Start Walking To Prevent Dementia!

Americans need to get outside and start walking now if they are ever going to catch up with the rest of the world.

Americans Out Of Step

In western Australia, adults average 9,695 steps a day, in Switzerland the number is 9,650, in Japan it’s 7,168, but adults in the U.S. take a paltry 5,117 steps a day, according to a study published recently in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

“We were surprised that the levels of physical activity were that low,” said Dr. David R. Bassett, of the University of Tennessee, the lead author of the study. “Five thousand steps is really pretty inactive.”

The Problem? Car Culture

Bassett attributes the more active lifestyle of adults in other countries to their greater access to mass transit. “In Switzerland you might get enough activity just in the course of doing your errands,” he explained.

And the results of all this inactivity? In the U.S., 34% of adults are obese, whereas during the past decade, Australia, Japan and Switzerland have reported obesity rates of 16%, 3% and 8% respectively.

Walking Prevents Memory Loss

There are other reasons to keep walking.  New research indicates that walking six miles or so every week is not only good for the heart, but can also prevent brain shrinkage and memory loss.

The study, published in Neurology, examined data on 299 dementia-free people with a mean age of 78 who recorded the number of blocks they walked weekly. Nine years later, the researchers took brain scans of the participants to measure their brain size.

The results? Participants who walked between 6 and 9 miles per week had more gray matter in their brains nine years after the start of the study than people who didn’t walk as much. Researchers say that those who walked the most cut their risk of developing memory loss in half.

Get Outside And Start Walking!

All of this points to the obvious conclusion: step outside and start walking! Not only is walking fun and makes you feel great; now you know that it’s also vital for your long-term health!

Creative Commons - Ed Yourdon

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117 comments

Ruth R.
Ruth R.3 years ago

Makes some sense.

Maria A.
Maria A.5 years ago

I wish that simply by walking we would be able to control or delay dementia. You really never know. At 47 I had four heart bypasses, followed by 6 stents in 3 different procedures. I got diabetes type 1, and all kinds of medical complications. Before that age, I used to go to the gym several times a week, I had the size of a model, stayed away from fatty foods and ate right, and my favorite pastime was hiking. Now, why in the world did I got so awfully sick? It reminds me of my grandmother in her 60's who had Alzheimer and she also did all the right things.

Lin Moy
Lin M5 years ago

My mom swam at the ymca for over 25 yrs. at least 3 days a week. She has also walked 3 or more miles a day this long. But, guess what,?? My mom has alz. and is getting worse every day. She ate right too. I agree it has to be in the genes of the family. Altho she's the first in ours to get it. Mom worked before she was 14, always busy helping at her church, who by the way never visit her. Such a shame as active as she was, giving time and money. It is so sad to watch her go away each visit but thankful she is in a wonderfull care just for alz. patients.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal5 years ago

Walking is an activity that for me, has to be scheduled or I will find other things to do instead. When I was training for a half marathon, it was amaing how I made the time to schedule my life!

jane richmond
jane richmond5 years ago

Great idea ! Let's all go for a walk TODAY!

Roberto Vivas
Roberto Vivas5 years ago

Well, I'm a MailMan,so I have no excuse...Ha Ha...thanks for the article..walking is highly recomended!

Julianna D.
Juliana D.5 years ago

I do tons of walking every day, and I try to do most of it BAREFOOT!

Shalvah Landy
Past Member 5 years ago

It's great to walk and once you get into the habit you won't want to miss a day without walking!
About the obesity rates of course they are not only from a sedentary life style but also due to the unhealthy food people eat in the U.S.!

Richard L.
richard Lehr5 years ago

My wife walks 30 min. most days....I should but.....

James R. Stewart Jr.

We don't walk, because we Have To Be Always Watching the Booby Toob. We Are Emotionally Dependent on It. Dependent.
Good Grief !!!