Regular exercise can help to improve brain function in later life, a new study has found.
Research from Kings College London found that people who have engaged in regular intense activities since childhood perform better in mental tests after the age of 50.
Some 9,000 people took part in the study, which looked at their activity and memory from the age of 11 onwards with interviews conducted at regular intervals.
Those who exercised two or more times a month were found to score much higher in the tests than those who didn't.
Dr Alex Dregan, who led the study, said: "It's widely acknowledged that a healthy body equals a healthy mind. However, not everyone is willing or able to take part in the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week."
She added that those people can improve their mental wellbeing and lower the risk of being diagnosed with dementia in later life by at least engaging some level of physical activity.
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