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Exercise in ageing: better than drugs!

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

This is the title of a scientific review published this summer in "Aging and Disease".

The authors make two important points:

Firstly, they say that the current recommendations for physical activity aren't enough - we only spend 65% of the energy our paleolithic ancestors used (whilst eating a lot more energy rich foods), and if we look at a surviving hunter-gatherer tribe (the Hazda in Tanzania), we see that they are physically active (moderate to vigorously) on average for 100 minutes a day, far more than the 30 minutes that is recommended to us.

Secondly they run through the many different aims of exercise, with emphasis on the cognitive benefits of varied and challenging activities and the importance of including mindfulness exercises in physical activity. They say we need to "cognisize" more!

Finally, among the many benefits of exercise, they also have a particular mention for the importance of moving to rhythm:

"Rhythm-based music interventions are considered as useful prevention against dementia, falls, and Parkinson's disease and moreover, enhance neuroplasticity of the nervous system.[...] Thus, rhythm-based music needs to be recommended for people over 60 years old when exercising".

Many very good reasons to treat yourself to a few doses of dance thro