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Regular exercise reduces large number of health risks including dementia and some cancers
Date:11/15/2010

People who take regular exercise could reduce their risk of developing around two dozen physical and mental health conditions - including some cancers and dementia - and slow down how quickly their body deteriorates as they age.

An extensive research review, published in the December issue of IJCP, the International Journal of Clinical Practice, says that apart from not smoking, being physically active is the most powerful lifestyle choice any individual can make to improve their health.

Physiotherapist and lecturer Leslie Alford from the University of East Anglia reviewed 40 papers covering the latest international research published between 2006 and 2010.

"The literature reviewed shows that how long people live and how healthy they are depends on a complex mix of factors, including their lifestyle, where they live and even luck" says Mr Alford. "Individuals have an element of control over some of these factors, including obesity, diet, smoking and physical activity.

"Although the focus of my study was on men's health, the messages on physical activity are relevant to both sexes and all age groups."

Health benefits identified by the review include:

  • Regular moderate to intense physical activity is associated with decreased risk of coronary heart disease and ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke.

  • A growing body of evidence suggests that increasing physical activity can also reduce the risk of certain types of cancers, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, depression, obesity and high blood pressure.

  • Evidence of the beneficial effects of physical activity in the primary prevention and management of cancer is growing and there is an association between higher levels of physical activity and lower cancer death rates.

  • Research has found that walking or cycling for at least an half-an-hour a day is associated with a reduction in cancer and that when this is incr
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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