Regular Exercise Essential For Active Minds Amongst Over-50’s
Regular exercise is essential for over-50’s in order to keep their minds active and to reduce the risks of degenerative conditions such as dementia from occurring, according to a new study.
The study, which was carried out by scientists at the University of Canberra, found that those over 50 who exercised regularly had better problem solving ability and memory than those who did not exercise as frequently.
In cases where there are early signs of cognitive decline the study found that this could be prevented from getting worse by taking part in regular exercise. Although any form of exercise will be useful in helping to keep both mind and body active, experts have said that the exercise does not necessarily have to be too strenuous, with light exercises such as T’ai Chi being sufficient.
Doctors behind the study believe that exercise is beneficial to the functionality of the brain due to the fact that as we exercise more blood is pumped to the brain supplying it with more oxygen, nutrients and growth hormones. These all help to create and repair neurons and their connections.
However, Dr Dean Burnett, a neuroscience and psychiatry lecturer from Cardiff University, said that “It could lead to increased pressure for the 50-plus age group to exercise more in order to stay mentally healthy, which is good advice but also overlooks the fact that as we age it's increasingly difficult to engage in physical activity, as our bodies are simply less capable of it."
Dr Burnett’s comments have identified how Physiotherapists could be beneficial in helping over-50’s to identify which exercises would be beneficial to them based on their physical ability.