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Not just a plate of limp lettuce

23 January 2012

It was just the kind of news I like to read: exercise is bad for you. One of my perennial new year’s resolutions is ‘to do less gardening’ and each year I have stuck to that resolution unflinchingly, however tempting it is to break it.

I now read that those who undertake prolonged strenuous exercise are more likely to be ill than those who do not. A study at Loughborough University concludes that those who participate in this way have an increased chance of upper respiratory tract infections.

So, I thought smugly to myself, I am doing fine. Pushing a few keys on my computer, getting up to make myself a cup of tea and energetically pressing the television remote control were all that were needed for a happy and healthy life.

But then in the same paper I discovered that mental decline is now thought to set in much earlier – at 45 not 60 as was previously believed. Another study had looked at civil servants (and do not reply “ah well that explains it”. ...

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