Sometimes, it takes a big health scare for people to get into the habit of exercise. Wouldn’t it be good if we could avoid the minor heart attack, debilitating depression, gradual weight gain leading to obesity or onset of diabetes by making exercise the norm?
Intensive research has been done and it has been proven that fit middle aged adults have a lower risk of dementia in later life than their unfit colleagues. Does this inspire you to get fitter?
20,000 healthy adults had a fitness test at the age of 50 years. 20 – 30 years later this study (BMJ 2013;346:f710) looked for records of new dementia cases. The results showed that those who had been in the top fifth of the distribution for fitness in mid-life were 36% less likely to make a new claim for dementia than adults in the bottom fifth.
The Alzheimer’s Society advocates regular exercise. They claim that physical exercise reduces your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 50 percent. They also state that regular exercise can slow further deterioration in those who have already started to develop cognitive problems.
Does the opportunity to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia in later life motivate you to become more active? One of the most successful ways of getting into the habit of exercise is by making it a natural part of your lifestyle. If you haven’t exercised for a long time you don’t have to take up running or join the gym. Why not try; getting off the bus one step earlier, parking the car a bit further from your destination, using the stairs rather than the lift, find a friend to go for a half hour walk – just a few ideas.