Thursday, November 18, 2010

Regular Exercise Keeps Dementia and Other Diseases at Bay

An extensive research review summarising the key findings of 40 papers published between 2006 and 2010 finds that apart from not smoking, being physically active is the most powerful lifestyle choice any individual can make to improve their health.

Health conditions covered by the review include: cancer, heart disease, dementia, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, obesity and high blood pressure.

Leslie Alford from the University of East Anglia says that people who take regular exercise could reduce their risk of developing around two dozen physical and mental health conditions -- including some cancers and dementia -- and slow down how quickly their body deteriorates as they age.

Although the focus of the study was on men's health, the messages on physical activity are relevant to both sexes and all age groups.

Leslie’s paper is ivided into a number of key sections:

  1. Why should I exercise?
  2. How much physical activity should I do?
  3. What should I do?
  4. Is it too late?/Am I too old to start?
  5. What is the point I’ve never been able to lose weight or give up smoking?
  6. I’m too busy/I don’t have time

We shall present these by installments, starting below with the big question: Why should I exercise?

Journal Reference:

L. Alford. What men should know about the impact of physical activity on their health. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 2010; 64 (13): 1731
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