Older people could benefit mentally from taking gentle exercise, it has been suggested.

A recent study by researchers at Pittsburgh University has revealed that older people who walk more are less likely to develop dementia and other forms of mental decline.

The project looked at people who walked between six and nine miles a week and found that brain scans showed they tended to have more brain tissue in key areas.

Leader of the study, Dr Kirk Erickson, commented: "If regular exercise in midlife could improve brain health and improve thinking and memory in later life, it would be one more reason to make regular exercise in people of all ages a public health imperative."

Susanne Sorensen, from the Alzheimer's Society, praised the study, noting that one of its benefits is the fact that it "eliminates the impact other socio-economic factors may play and focuses specifically on walking rather than exercise more generally". 

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