A new report suggests exercising in your 70s is the key to reducing the risk of age-related problems such as dementia.
Experts from Edinburgh University say the brain scans of 638 people past the age of retirement revealed that those who were most physically active had less brain shrinkage over a three-year period.
Interestingly, exercise didn’t need to be strenuous. The study published in the journal Neurology said walking several times a week is enough.
Barnes chiropractor Julian Keel says, “It’s good to see this report reiterating that exercise is beneficial for all ages and especially uplifting to read that it could play a part in reducing brain-shrinkage. As chiropractors we have always told our patients that movement is essential for good health. It’s great to see that advice being reinforced”.
The report also said mind workouts and mental challenges such as crosswords had little effect.
Although previous studies have shown that exercise helps reduce the risk of dementia and can slow down its onset, scientists remain unclear on the exact reasons.
Various theories have been proposed. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, delivering oxygen and nutrients to brain cells, so it has been suggested that this may be a factor. Or, it could be that as people’s brains shrink, they become less inclined to exercise. Whatever the as yet unexplained reason, experts say the findings are good news as exercise is a simple thing to do.
Prof James Goodwin, head of research at Age UK, the charity that provided the funding for the research, said: “This research re-emphasises that it really is never too late to benefit from exercise, so whether it’s a brisk walk to the shops, gardening or competing in a fun run it is crucial that, those of us who can, get active as we grow older.”
“We’ll certainly be watching with interest for more research and regardless of whether or not this project receives any further funding it’s logical that keeping the body working well is good for wellbeing,” says chiropractor Julian.
From Julian & the Team at Barnes Chiropractic Healthcare
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