A study has shown that lifelong exercise can lead to improved brain function in later life.
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According to the study, people perform better in mental tests at the age of 50 if they have taken regular intense activity; such as playing sport, running, working out in the gym or swimming, since childhood. The findings have been published in the Psychological Medicine journal and studied over 9,000 individuals from the age of 11. Participants also undertook memory tests including attention and learning at regular age intervals to monitor levels of exercise. Government guidelines suggest that adults should exercise for at least 150 minutes per week.
Study leader, Dr Alex Dregan, from King’s College London, said: “As exercise represents a key component of lifestyle interventions to prevent cognitive decline, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, public health interventions to promote lifelong exercise have the potential to reduce the personal and social burden associated with these conditions in late adult years.”