oldpeople exercise

Regular exercise can combat the risk of dementia, according to new findings. A long-term study carried out at Cardiff University revealed the close links that dementia has with a lack of regular exercise, smoking, bad diet, obesity, and alcohol intake.

The study monitored over 2,235 men aged between 25 and 49 from Caerphilly, just north of Cardiff, since 1979.

Results from the study appeared in a study report published in PLOS One journal.

They found that those participants who limited their alcohol consumption, stopped smoking, exercised regularly and ate a good diet, had 70% fewer instances of diabetes, heart disease and stroke, compared with people who took no action.

The participants also showed a 60% decline in dementia and cognitive decline rates, particularly those ones who included exercise in their routines.

Professor Peter Elwood, who led the study on behalf of Cardiff School of Medicine, said: “Healthy behaviour was far more beneficial than any medical treatment or preventative procedure. The size of reduction in the instance of disease owing to these simple healthy steps has really amazed us and is of enormous importance in an ageing population.”

This new study coincides with a previous report by the University Of Edinburgh in Scotland which also demonstrated that elderly people who were more physically active had fewer damaged spots in the brain’s white matter.

Previous studies showed that older adults without Alzheimer’s disease who walked moderately for 30 to 45 minutes three days a week for a year, had a two percent increase in the volume of their hippocampus, a part of the brain important for memory.

Experts say exercise increases blood flow to the brain, delivering oxygen and nutrients to brain cells.

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