Slow Walking May Be a Sign of Early Alzheimer’s

Good news for speed walkers. Many studies have shown that walking and other exercise helps protect the brain as we age. Now a new study finds that slow walking speed may be a sign of early Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers in France studied 128 people in their 70s who did not have dementia but were considered high risk because they had concerns about their memories. The participants had scans to measure amyloid plaques in their brains. (The buildup of these plaques …

Ways for Generations to Stay Active Together

There were yoga classes in California’s Silicon Valley and line dances in Washington. There were bocce ball matches in Rochester, N.Y., and water volleyball games in Mason City, Iowa. But best of all, across the country, there were younger people and older people coming together to participate. It happened just a few weeks ago. From Aug. 1 to 8, the YMCA and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy teamed up for A New Way to Move, a weeklong initiative promoting physical activity that connects kids and older adults. According to …

How Exercise Affects the Brain and Improves Memory

For years, doctors have recommended exercise as one of the best ways to keep our brains healthy as we age. Now new research finds that regular sustained exercise may be able to slow or even reverse the biological changes that cause dementia. What’s more, exercise may even be an effective treatment for those with Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. The findings, presented this week at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington, D.C., have important implications for an aging population …

Spring Fitness Tune-Up

Guilty as charged: I’ve grown lax about my workout program in the last few months, leading to a loss in strength and a gain in weight. How can I tell? Because my scale does not lie. Nor, tragically, do my jeans. Last winter seemed to pose a bigger challenge than normal to my (mostly conscientious) exercise habits and (fairly healthy) lifestyle. That long, cold season simply would not die, forcing me to trim my running schedule from three or four …

Exercise Trend: HIIT Me With Your Best Shot!

Walking. Indoor cycling. Yoga. Older Americans continue gravitating to these activities as a favorite way to burn calories, but now there’s a new kid in the town gym: It’s called high-intensity interval training, and it seems destined to become a HIIT. Never heard of HIIT? Based on studies conducted by Martin Gibala, a kinesiology professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, HIIT is showing the world that less is more when it comes to exercise. There couldn’t be better news …

5 Ways to Get Fit and Fashionable in 2015

The sandwich generation — those of us (usually women over 45) squeezed by the competing demands of kids, aging parents, work, community, romantic partner and so on — rarely have time to think about the things that will make us feel fit and stylish. But we need to make that time, so I’ve listed a few action items designed to boost our health and happiness in the new year. Many of these are trends that came to light in 2014 …