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What exercise can do for you


Dr Mike Stroud (left) and Sir Ranulph Fiennes after completing seven marathons in seven continents in seven days in 2003 to help fight heart disease. Image: British Heart Foundation

On Wednesday I attended a British Medical Association meeting at BMA House, Tavistock Square, with top-notch speakers who were introduced by HRH The Princess Royal. I found the programme enthralling. They gave us the latest research on the benefits of exercise.

The presenters included gastroenterologist Michael Stroud, whose feats dragging 500-pound sledges across Antarctica and running marathons are well known. However, the news for us lesser mortals was excellent -

Any exercise is good.

Choose something you enjoy.

It's best to include both endurance exercise - running, swimming, walking - with resistance exercise such as weight-lifting.

You're never too old to start.

If you are going strong in your sixties with regular exercise, you double the chance that you will die without disability.

Exercise is good for preventing and often treating heart disease, diabetes, obesity, certain cancers, sarcopenia (degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength), depression and dementia.

I noticed a lot of people riding bikes in London. As soon as I arrived back home, I ran a church loop.