Benefits of exercise: Hawaii Alzheimer's Conference 2010

Exercise followed by a relaxing mug of tea might be a good tonic for the brain in old age, research suggests from this week's Alzheimer's Conference in Hawaii.

In two separate studies, US scientists found that physical activity and regular consumption of tea or coffee both protect against mental decline.

One team led by Dr Zaldy Tan, from Harvard Medical School, Boston, followed the progress of 1,200 elderly men and women with an average age of 76.

Health checks after an average of 10 years showed that those who engaged in moderate to heavy levels of exercise had a 40% lower risk of developing dementia than the least physically active.

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