Exercise is like everything else in life

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A recent study among several thousand Australian women concluded that regular exercise during midlife led to a lower incidence of joint complaints later in life.

In this study, the exercise did not have to be vigorous for its benefits to accrue: even light exercise done regularly in the middle years led to healthier joints later on.

And another study published in the journal JAMA Neurology concluded that exercise may also help slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease, although in this case, moderate exercise did not help much.

It was actually vigorous exercise that showed a beneficial effect.

Anyway, if you’re keeping score, you can score two more positives for exercise.

On the inescapable other hand, however, another recent study published in the journal JAMA Ophthamology which surveyed over 200000 Korean men and women found that men who exercised “vigorously” had a 54 % greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) compared to men who didn’t exercise vigorously although there was no difference detected in AMD rates between women who exercised vigorously and those who didn’t.

Survey studies are, of course, notoriously prone to errors based on faulty recall or to exaggerations even when our memories are not selective – amazing how much better we eat in what we tell surveys than the way we really chow down or how much more exercise we say we do than we actually do – but still, there could be something in this in that vigorous exercise could prove to be detrimental to the health of some of the tissues in the eye.

Bottom line is pretty simple: exercise is like everything else in life.

You can’t possibly go wrong with a moderate dose: At worst, it may do little for your health, but then it will also never prove to do anything negative to your health as well.

Too much or too little exercise, though, and . . .

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