News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Exercise For Over 50s Helps Heart And Brain – New Study

New research says regular exercise can help slow the progression to Alzheimer's disease as well as improve the heart and brain.

Regular exercise helps the brain form new neural connections, generates cell growth and sends blood rushing to crucial areas of the brain that tend to lose blood over time.

Among other reasons, this is why it's important that people make exercise a priority once over 50 years old.

ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie says scientists have known for some time that exercise reduces the risk of developing dementia, but they did not know if there was a direct link or whether ill people were simply unable to be physically active.

Degenerative diseases such as dementia affects tens of thousands of Kiwis or around one to two percent of those in their 60s and up to 30 percent of those over the age of 85, Beddie says.

“The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s and there is growing evidence that exercise is not only preventative, but rehabilitative too, and helps those living with dementia from living more fulfilling lives.

“What’s clear is that exercise is not only beneficial but essential in the prevention and treatment of so many long-term health conditions,” Beddie says.

“As dementia is estimated to effect 70,000 Kiwis and its symptoms are life changing for many. But we can prevent this which is great news. Unfortunately, we don’t start from a good base with around 50 percent of Kiwi adults not getting enough physical activity according to the World Health Organisation.

“Our mission is to bring the benefits of exercise to as many kiwis as possible - and this is just another reason to get and keep active”

According to one study of people over the age of 54, published in the journal Economics & Human Biology, working out just once a week was helpful at protecting against dementia and staying cognitively sharp.

Another recent study of cognitively impaired, older adults, which was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, found that taking brisk, half-hour walks promotes healthy blood flow to the brain and improves performance while boosting memory function.

A more recent study published in the journal Alzheimer's Research & Therapy showed people over 60, doing at least two 10 minutes sessions a week, can be helping the brain in profound ways.

The purpose of the study, conducted at the Yonsei University College of Medicine in South Korea, was to investigate the effects of exercise on those who suffer from mild cognitive impairment, as those who suffer from memory issues are likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers analysed data of 247,149 people between the ages of 64 and 69 in Korea with mild cognitive impairment over the course of six years. The results showed exercise really helps.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland