April 3, 2005

Evidence is increasingly showing that people who exercise regularly are less likely to be afflicted with dementia or Alzheimer

Many middle-aged and older people worry about dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to mental exercise, physical exercise is emerging as a way to prevent dementia. A March 2005 Reuters report stated that “a recent Finnish study showed that middle-age people taking regular exercise at least twice a week could ‘reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 50 percent’, Dr. Miia Kivipelto said at a conference in Amsterdam.” 

"An active lifestyle, both physical, mental and social, is preventive. It's never too early to start to prevent Alzheimer’s disease," said Kivipelto, who is an Alzheimer’s disease specialist at Stockholm's Gerontology Research Center.

Swimming is a form of aerobic exercise well-suited to both young and old adults. According to surveys, swimming is a fitness activity that most adults participate in. Exercising in the water is easier on the joints than many other forms of exercise Swimming also improves cardiovascular fitness, coordination, and core strength.

Potential swimmers should consider swimming with an organized masters swimming program. United States Masters Swimming is a national organization that provides organized workouts, competition, clinics and workshops for adults aged 18 and over. Programs are open to all adult swimmers (fitness, triathlete, competitive, and non-competitive) who are dedicated to improving their fitness through swimming, and is organized with 500 clubs throughout the nation. For more information about USMS go to www.usms.org.