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August 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 6)

Mid-life exercise helps prevent dementia when you’re old
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Mid-life exercise helps prevent dementia when you’re old image

Taking up moderate exercise in your mid-life—around 49 years or so—could pay dividends later, and help you maintain good mental faculties, such as cognition and memory, when you reach old age.

Moderate exercise means something a little more strenuous than walking—but not much more, say researchers from the University of Helsinki, who have tracked the health of 3,050 twins in a 25-year study.

In fact, those who did intense exercise didn’t have better cognitive abilities when they were 75 or so than those whose exercise was gentler. But both groups had better mental abilities in old age than those who did no exercise at all, say the researchers.

The lack of exercise is one of the risk factors for dementia in old age along with obesity and diabetes, which has been demonstrated in animal studies.

The Finnish Twin Cohort study is one of the first to establish the risk in humans—and also the level of exercise that needs to be performed in order to avoid dementia.


References

(Source: Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2016; 1: doi: 10.3233/JAD-160377)

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