alt=A woman crouches over a yoga mat, holding a TV remote as she chooses a yoga YouTube tutorial to watch on her TV.

Home-Based Workouts For the Win?

Raise your hand if you are among the people who jumped on the Peloton craze amid the pandemic. Maybe it’s just me, but I have found a startling number of people jumping into high-intensity cycling classes at home. It seems that, in addition to finding a way to spend their pandemic free time and a fitness outlet, these people may also be aiding their brain health, or at least that’s what the National Institutes of Health and Cleveland Clinic hope to find out.

The research on home-based workouts

Recently, the National Institutes of Health awarded a $6.7 million grant to the Cleveland Clinic to evaluate if high-intensity exercise can prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a press release from the clinic.

The study will take place over five years and follow about 150 healthy, but sedentary, participants, between the ages of 65 and 80, who are at high genetic risk for developing the disease. Participants will be put in two groups: one will go on with their activity as usual and one, you may have guessed by the intro, will partake in a home-based, internet cycling activity.

The main takeaways

Exercise is something I’ve advocated in previous posts to caregivers as a way of taking care of themselves. It’s also something that I personally find to be very effective in moderating my mental health.

Most problems seem not quite as vexing after a long walk, in my opinion. Anecdotally, my mom also advocates for continued and consistent movement for loved ones who have Alzheimer’s. We also have a previous post about the benefits of exercising with Alzheimer’s disease. Sources, found within the article, indicate that it can help to increase blood flow and decrease the rate of cognitive decline.

What does this mean to you?

So, what does this mean? Do people who may have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease go out and by a Peloton tomorrow? Probably not. But there are some things that we can do easily and inexpensively as we take this, along with other pointers, under advisement in living our lives.

  1. Assess where you’re at. As you will read on any piece of exercise equipment, consult a doctor before jumping head first into any exercise regimen. Additionally, you’ll want to consider where you at with your current fitness level and incrementally increase that from here. I find that small steps I can create a habit from are the most sustainable. For example, grabbing a walk during my work-from-home lunch routine.
  2. Find exercises you find enjoyable. I, for one, love walks but hate running. I also enjoy a hot yoga class and kickboxing. I like to challenge myself every once in a while to find and try new workouts. I operate under the mentality that I’m not going to know if I like it until I try it. So consider that Hip Hop Abs VHS that’s been collecting dust in your attic space or that trendy workout your friend can’t stop talking about and maybe give it a try. Maybe you’ll find it works for you or you can donate the VHS and tell your friend thanks, but no thanks.
  3. Invite friends. Given the pandemic, I advocate for Zoom workout sessions with your friends! The Hip Hop Abs I mentioned earlier is an actual workout available on BeachBody and I laugh at myself so hard when I’m doing it. So I recently decided that I’ll try to recruit some of my girlfriends from college to hop on a Zoom and do it with me. After all, full-belly laughs get your heart rate going too, right?

I hope you have fun doing some movin’ and shakin’ on your own or with your friends. The endorphins, at the very least, might help us put this horrible disease at the back of the mind for a few minutes.

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