Tweet说，身边的人经常嘲笑我固执的步行习惯。从公司到家，有三公里，我都是步行回去，不坐地铁。当我去到不太方便步行的城市，热心的驾驶员经常停下来让我搭车，他们以为我的车坏了或我需要帮助。 But for me, walking is a good opportunity to process the day and let my mind wander without the oppression of the endless to-do list that awaits me at home. Plus, it helps my back recover from a day spent bent in front of a computer screen. Health-wise, I have always assumed I'd have the last laugh, and now there's even more evidence on my side.
A study published in Neurology has found that the simple act of walking may improve memory in old age. As we age, our brains shrink and the shrinkage is associated with dementia and loss of cognitive functions such as memory. To test whether physical activity could mitigate some of these degenerative effects, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh tracked the physical activity of 299 healthy men and women with an average age of 78. The participants' activity ranged anywhere from walking 0 blocks to 300 blocks (up to 30 miles) per week.
Nine years later, the walkers underwent brain scans, which revealed that those who had walked more had greater brain volume than those who walked less. Four years after that, the volunteers were tested again —this time for dementia. Among the group, 116 people showed signs of memory loss or dementia. Those who had walked the most —at least 72 city blocks (or about 7 mi.) each week —were half as likely to have cognitive problems as those who walked the least. 九年后，这些参与者接受脑部扫描，扫描后发现那些走路走得多的人，他们的大脑要比走路少的人要大。又过了四年，参与者有接受了测试，这次是老年痴呆。在这个群体中，有116人记忆力衰退或有老年痴呆。而那些走路走的最多的—至少每周72个街区(大约7公里)，只有比那些走路最少的人一半的认知问题。
The findings are in line with past studies linking physical activity with brain function, but dementia experts say there's not enough data yet to prescribe exercise to prevent memory loss. It's also too soon to say whether exercise may prevent dementia or simply delay it in people who would eventually develop it anyway. But when it comes to Alzheimer's, even a short delay could mean great gains in quality of life.