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Exercise Helpful In Reducing The Risk Of Dementia, Study Finds

Update Date: Dec 10, 2013 08:38 AM EST

If you want to lead a disease-free lifestyle, here are five healthy behaviors that a recent study recommends: regular exercise, non-smoking, maintaing a low body weight, healthy diet and a low alcohol intake.

People who followed at least four of these recommended behaviors, experienced a 60 per cent decline in dementia. The study proved that the exercise was the strongest mitigating factor which helped in reducing 70 per cent fewer instances of diabetes, heart disease and stroke compared to people who followed none.

“The size of reduction in the instance of disease owing to these simple healthy steps has really amazed us and is of enormous importance in an aging population,” said Principle Investigator Professor Peter Elwood from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine in the press release. “What the research shows is that following a healthy lifestyle confers surprisingly large benefits to health – healthy behaviors have a far more beneficial effect than any medical treatment or preventative procedure.”

“Taking up and following a healthy lifestyle is however the responsibility of the individual him or herself. Sadly, the evidence from this study shows that very few people follow a fully healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, our findings reveal that while the number of people who smoke has gone down since the study started, the number of people leading a fully healthy lifestyle has not changed,” he further added.

Statistically, one per cent of people in Wales follow all the recommended steps and about five per cent of population follow none of these.

“If the men had been urged to adopt just one additional healthy behaviour at the start of the study 35 years ago, and if only half of them complied, then during the ensuing 35 years there would have been a 13 per cent reduction in dementia, a 12 per cent drop in diabetes, six per cent less vascular disease and a five per cent reduction in deaths,” prof. Elwood concluded.

The study is published in the journal of PLOS One.

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