People who exercise regularly are significantly reducing their chances of developing dementia, new research suggests. An extensive review of more than 40 different research papers by academics at the University of East Anglia revealed that dementia is just one of the many diseases that can be fought with exercise. As well as dementia, exercise can reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, as well developing certain cancers and type 2 diabetes. Physiotherapist and lecturer Leslie Alford, who led the research, said that the evidence suggests that a healthy lifestyle plays a key role in preventing all sorts of life-threatening illnesses. He went on: "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." According to the Alzheimer's Research Trust, the number of people living with dementia in the UK is around £820,000. Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.