Regular exercise improves memory in older people even if done in their 50s and 60s, research shows

  • A UCL study found that exercising once a month cna protect memory in a 30-year study
  • The 1,400-person study will monitor participants to see if dementia is delayed

According to research, jogging once a month is enough to protect your memory later, even for couch potatoes in their 50s and 60s.

Scientists from University College London (UCL) tracked the exercise habits of 1,400 participants over 30 years.

When each person turned 69, the volunteers took a test to assess their memory, attention, language and verbal fluency.

Those classified as moderately active – meaning they participated in physical activity one to four times a month – fared better than those who exercised less frequently than that.

At least 30 minutes of a range of activities including badminton, swimming, fitness exercises, yoga, dancing, soccer, jogging, or even just brisk walking counted as one exercise session .

Jogging just once a month is enough to protect your memory later in life, research shows, even for couch potatoes who do it in their 50s and 60s (stock photo)

The volunteers also completed a questionnaire at five points in the study – at ages 36, 43, 53, 60 to 64 and 69. Overall, 11% of participants were physically inactive at all five time points, while 15% exercised at each time point.

The majority of the group – one in five – said they exercised at least twice a month. Previous studies have suggested that regular exercise can reduce the risk of developing dementia by a third.

Much of this research has focused on mid-life fitness, with benefits found for those who get the NHS-recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week.

But the researchers behind the new study say their results are proof that every little bit counts and that it’s never too late to start.

Dr Sarah-Naomi James, a UCL researcher and principal investigator of the trial, will assess whether exercise regimens can ultimately delay the onset of dementia

Dr Sarah-Naomi James, a UCL researcher and principal investigator of the trial, said her study “provides evidence to encourage inactive adults to be active, even to a small extent… at all times of life. adulthood” to improve cognition and memory later in life.

Frequent exercise is said to improve blood flow to the brain, leading to increased activity in areas associated with learning and memory.

Dr. James will continue to follow the cohort to assess whether exercise habits may ultimately delay the onset of dementia.

“We hope this will be the world’s first cradle-to-grave study – where we have studied people for their entire lives,” she added.

Leave a Comment