Remember to swim: swim to remember
Sep 15, 2008
Craig Lord

When was the last time you felt fit? Can't remember? Better get down to the pool then. West Australian health experts say that just 20 minutes of activity each day can prevent memory deterioration. A team from the WA Centre for Health and Ageing (WACHA) based at the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR) conducted the research and concluded that regular physical activity can lead to a lasting improvement in memory function.

The WA-based trial results will be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. WACHA director Professor Leon Flicker said: "What our trial tells us is that older people who take up some form of aerobic exercise for as little as 20 minutes a day will be more likely to remember things like shopping lists, family birthdays and friend's names."

Personal best times too, perhaps. During the trial, 170 volunteers aged 50 years and over formed two groups - control and real members of the guinea-pig club who undertook 150 minutes of activity each week, including swimming.

"The results of this trial are very encouraging and a great step forward in helping older people improve their memory and potentially delay the progression of dementia which can eventually lead to Alzheimer's disease."

 No wonder there are so many smart Masters racing up and down the world's fast lanes.