COMPELLING evidence that older adults should exercise

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age, exercise, muscle, bone, older athlete, arthritis digestPhysically active older adults enjoy a whole range of positive health benefits says a large evidence review.

Published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, the review assessed the relationship between physical activity and health in adults aged 60 years or older.

As well as reduced risks of early death, people who exercise have less breast and prostate cancer, fractures, recurrent falls, functional limitations, cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. It was also found that physically active older adults experience healthier ageing in general, better quality of life, and improved cognitive functioning.

“This research highlights the benefits of physical activity to our physical and mental health in older age,” says Dr Conor Cunningham of the Institute of Public Health in Ireland, lead author. “For some time, we have known of the benefits of physical activity for our physical health; however, what is important about this research is that it highlights compelling emerging evidence of the positive effects of being physically active on our mental health – including depression, cognition, and dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”

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