Walking & Memory

A STUDY carried out at the University of Edinburgh has concluded that going for a walk, rather than doing a crossword, may be better insurance against developing dementia.


Researchers found that physical exercise, rather than mind-stretching activities, offers the best protection against excessive shrinking of the brain in later life.
Recently released figures show that around 820,000 people in the UK have dementia, with most suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The author of the Edinburgh University study, Alan Gow, said the research provided objective evidence that exercise is critical for brain health.
He added: “People in their seventies who participated in more physical exercise, including walking several times a week, had less brain shrinkage and other signs of ageing in the brain than those who were less physically active. On the other hand, our study showed no real benefit to participating in mentally and socially stimulating activities on brain size, as seen on MRI scans, over the three-year time frame.
In effect, the three-year study showed that those doing more exercise had less brain shrinkage than those who exercised minimally. I am an ardent fan of keeping physically fit and greatly admire those senior citizens that take regular exercise. I also believe that mental exercise is good for you as well so combining the two must be beneficial.”
The head of research at Age UK, James Goodwin, said the research emphasises the fact that it is never too late to benefit from exercise, so whether it’s a brisk walk, gardening or a fun run it is vital that those of us who can, get more active as we grow older.
Pinched from: The Brit Scene in the November 2-8 2012 issue of the Costa Blanca News by Phil Woolford.