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February 2018 (Vol. 28 Issue 11)

Keep on walkin'

About the author: 

Keep on walkin' image

If you're worried about losing your mental abilities as you get older, start walking

If you're worried about losing your mental abilities as you get older, start walking. It might be all you need to do to ward off dementia, memory loss and the like.
Researchers tested the theory on a group of men and women, in two separate trials, and discovered that the participants reduced their risk of dementia the more - and longer - they walked.
The benefits among the men started from a taking a daily walk of just a quarter of a mile, although anything less had no benefits at all. Men who walked up to two miles a day had the lowest risk of developing dementia. Among the women, all aged between 70 and 81 years, those who walked 'at an easy pace' for at least one-and-a-half hours a day were the least likely to suffer mental problems, such as memory loss.
The male study involved 2,257 men aged between 71 and 93 years, who were assessed for two years. During that time 158 developed dementia. Researchers found that the men who walked less than a quarter of a mile every day were nearly twice as likely to develop dementia compared with those who walked two miles a day.
Clearly exercise and taking the air have a part to play in mental well-being, but as keen followers of the peripatetic philosophical school of Ancient Greece, we reckon it's as much to do with thinkin' while you're walkin'. In other words the motion of walking seems to encourage the mind to move too.


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