The study found that exercising once a month at any age can help prevent dementia later in life.
Research shows that staying active throughout your adult life is the best way to keep your brain healthy in retirement, but even exercising at 60 is good for you.
In the first study looking at age, exercise and brain health after retirement, researchers at University College London wanted to find out if being active has an effect.
They found that those who exercise regularly as they age are more likely to have good brain health than those who train at intervals and then give up.
But they said that any level of exercise—from brisk walking to aerobics—gave participants a boost in mental strength compared to those who did nothing.
The researchers studied data from 1,417 people who were then asked how much monthly exercise they were doing at ages 36, 43, 53, 60-64, and 69.
Based on their responses, people were classified as inactive—no physical activity, moderately active—once to four times a month—and most active—five or more times in each time period.
They then took a series of cognitive tests when they were 69 years old, which included a test of processing speed and memory. And those who were physically active at least one to four times a month in all five separate surveys performed better on tests, suggesting that being physically active at any time during adulthood, even if participants were less than once per month was associated with higher levels of physical activity. awareness.
This effect was stronger for those who exercised frequently during at least one study period, but did not necessarily maintain it over several life stages.
Lead author Dr Sarah Naomi James said: “Our study shows that any physical activity during leisure time at any stage of adult life has a positive effect on cognitive function. This appears to be the case even at moderate levels of activity.” , one to four times a month. In addition, it appears that people who were not active before and then became active at age 60 also seemed to have better cognition than those who were never active. Those who stayed had the greatest cognitive effect: “They are physically active throughout their lives. The effect is cumulative, so the longer a person is active, the more likely they are to have higher cognition later in life.”
In his article in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry researchers acknowledged some link between exercise and brain health across education, childhood achievement, and socioeconomic status, although the effect remained significant even after controlling for factors.
While there is no single way to prevent all types of dementia, the National Health Service recommends exercising, eating a healthy, balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood pressure, and quitting smoking.
Dr Susan Mitchell, Head of Policy at the UK Alzheimer’s Research Centre, said: “This major study spanning over three decades and co-funded by the British Alzheimer’s Research Center shows that it’s never too late to start and how important it is. “. that the more physically active we are, the greater the health benefits of our brain.”
Source: Daily Mail