The health benefits of running may include reversing effects of the devastating memory disease, reports the Alzheimer's Association

By Caitlin Carlson
January 12, 2015
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You may call it the dreadmill, but a new Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study published online finds that running on one can actually reverse cognitive declines due to Alzheimer's. (Here are another 5 Reasons to Love the Treadmill.) That's the effect a 12-week treadmill program had on mice with both early and advanced stages of the disease, the researchers found.

That's great news for the more than five million Americans who are afflicted with the disease, per the Alzheimer's Association. Although not a new disease, it's recently gotten a well-deserved attention-boost thanks to the new film Still Alice, in theatres now. In fact, Julianne Moore won a Golden Globe last night for her role as Alice, a 50-year-old professor who is diagnosed with the early onset version of the disease (Five percent of the five million sufferer's have this verision, per the Alzheimer's Association.) (Find out Is Alzheimer's a Normal Part of Aging?)

Studies like this one give hope to people living with Alzheimer's in real life, as well as shine a light on the power of not only treadmill running, but of exercise in general. Running, specifically, elevates your heart rate and blood pressure which pumps oxygen to your brain, even when you've stopped. That means that even if you're not sick, taking strides is great for your noggin. Studies also show that weight-lifting improves memory. Check out The Best Ways to Pump Up Your Mental Muscles and get your brain and memory healthy.