How household chores fight Alzheimer's - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

How household chores fight Alzheimer's

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Don and Carol Adamatis are doing their daily chores, but they may also be reducing their risk of Alzheimer's disease. The couple is taking part in a study that uses a wrist monitor to follow their every move. The device tracks their level of activity 24 hours a day.

"I always feel better when I'm moving around," Carol said. "I don't stay put for very long."

Doctors know exercise can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's but researchers found even everyday physical activities like cooking, cleaning and washing dishes can make a big difference.

"Overall activity during the day seems to have benefit, even more say than exercise," said Dr. Raj Shah of Rush University Medical Center.

Shaw and researchers the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago used the activity monitor on 700 seniors. They found the least active people were more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's.

Doctors call it the fidget factor-- the idea that you don't have to run a marathon to protect your brain. Just moving, even fidgeting, can make a difference in the long run.

"It doesn't really matter what activity you do as long as you are doing activity," Shah said.

For Don Adamatis, it's personal. Both his mother and grandmother had symptoms of dementia. He believes it pays to be active, mentally and physically.

"Your body is a car given to you. You have to take care of it in both ways or you're going to be in trouble," he said.

And doctors say keeping all the parts moving is a fine first step.

Doctors say a healthy diet that includes fish oil and antioxidants can also reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

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