Regular Physical Activities Help Prevent Alzheimer’s, UK Study Finds

October 19, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. contract / kənˈtrækt/ (v.) – to catch an illness or disease
Example: Smokers have the risk to contract lung diseases.

2. vice /vaɪs/ (n.) – a habit that characterizes an unhealthy lifestyle
Example: His doctor advised him to discontinue his vices such as drinking too much alcohol and smoking heavily.

3. terminal /ˈtɜr mə nl/ (adj.) – may cause death due to lack of cure
Example: Her terminal disease made her wish that she had taken better care of herself.

4. immunity /ɪˈmyu nɪ ti/ (n.) – the state of being protected or uninfected by a disease or sickness
Example: Children’s immunity can be developed by taking vaccine shots and eating healthy food at an early age.

5. habitually /həˈbɪtʃ u əli/ (adv.) – in a repeated or regular manner
Example: He promised to habitually exercise so he could lose weight.


Read the text below.
Adding regular physical activities in one’s lifestyle may help lessen the risk of contracting Alzheimer’s [AHLTS-hahy-merz, ALTS-, AWLTS-] disease, a study says. 

The study, published in the journal Lancet Neurology, found that routine exercise plays an important role in preventing Alzheimer’s. Walking for at least 20 minutes thrice a week, for instance, is a simple exercise that can significantly reduce the chances of falling ill with Alzheimer’s. Professor Carol Brayne [breyn], the study’s lead author, said that people who exercise tend to abandon their vices and live a healthier lifestyle.

Inactivity or lack of exercise is the most common risk factor of Alzheimer’s in the United Kingdom, the researchers discovered. Twenty-two percent of the cases observed were caused by inactivity. Statistics further show that among 850,000 psychiatric patients in the country, more than 33 percent do not practice even simple physical activities.

Alzheimer’s is a terminal disease. Common vices such as smoking and unhealthy eating habits are linked to the development of this mental disorder. Medical specialists predict that, given Britain’s aging population, the number of people likely to contract this illness will double by 2050.

Brayne further stressed that the study’s recommendation does not guarantee immunity to the disease. However, it confirms that habitually engaging in physical activities can improve health and reduce the chances of suffering from such diseases.

Medical experts claim that being physically active improves the blood circulation in the body. As a result, the brain receives a steady flow of oxygen and blood, which keeps the brain fully functional.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Aside from walking, what do you think are other regular physical activities that can keep you healthy?
·         Why do you think it is difficult for some people to be physically active? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         What do you think is the main cause of people’s inactivity or laziness nowadays? Please explain your answer.
·         What do you think would motivate people to engage in physical activities? Please explain your answer.

October 19, 2014