Most of us have read or heard about recent research that tells us to keep active both physically and mentally if we want to keep our brain healthy and reduce the onset of disease such as Alzheimer’s. Water exercise, and specifically buoyancy-assisted exercise, presents an ideal environment to gain these benefits.
Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System tested the effects of aerobic training in a clinical trial with Thirty-Three women and men diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, often a prelude to Alzheimer’s disease.
Twenty-three randomly selected volunteers, began an intense program of aerobic exercise, spending 45 to 60 minutes on a treadmill or stationary bike four days a week. The remaining 10, the study’s control group, spent the same amount of time performing non-aerobic stretching and balance exercises.
After six months, the aerobic exercisers showed significant gains in mental agility, while the non-aerobic group showed continuing decline in tests of thinking speed, fluency with words, and ability to multi-task.