Exercise is essential for physical health. It keeps the muscles strong, the bones healthy, and the cardiovascular system in good shape. Staying active also offers cognitive benefits. Many studies suggest exercise reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Exercise & Brain Function
Exercising gets the blood pumping and boosts the body’s oxygen consumption. While this has obvious cardiovascular benefits, it also helps the brain. The brain needs regular blood flow and oxygen delivery to function properly. When these processes are hindered, whether by old age, illness, or a sedentary lifestyle, it can have a negative impact on cognitive function. If the brain doesn’t receive adequate blood flow and oxygen delivery for years, it can cause permanent damage, leaving seniors more susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Boosting the Brain on a Cellular Level
Aerobic exercise promotes the production of new brain cells. When seniors do exercises that get their heart rate up, it triggers neurogenesis, the process by which the brain creates new neurons. Neurogenesis is essential for learning and memory. As people age, some cell loss is normal. When neural attrition becomes too great, it can lead to Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairments.
The Growth of Important Brain Regions
Studies show regular exercise can increase the volume of key regions in the brain. When people engage in regular exercise, the medial temporal cortex and prefrontal cortex become larger. These regions control memory and thinking, which means keeping them healthy is essential to cognitive function. When seniors develop Alzheimer’s disease, these brain regions wither, which hinders retention and processing skills. Keeping the cortexes strong and healthy with aerobic exercise is an excellent way to protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease.
Seniors can boost their brain health by making healthy lifestyle choices such as maintaining a regular exercise routine. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Carmichael homecare. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
How Different Exercises Affect the Brain
To boost brain health, seniors should perform cardiovascular activities every week. Aerobic exercise gets the blood pumping, which kick-starts the physical processes that are beneficial to brain health, such as the delivery of oxygen to the brain cells and the creation of new neurons. Seniors looking to ward off Alzheimer’s disease should turn to cardio activities, which range from power walking to water aerobics.
Getting the Right Amount of Exercise
To lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, seniors must exercise regularly, which means they should find a form of aerobic activity they enjoy and stick to a weekly schedule. Most studies suggest seniors should aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise every week. When spread out over the course of the week, this amount of exercise can boost brain activity, create new neurons, and enhance memory and retention.
If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Carmichael seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to. Call one of our Care Managers at (916) 485-4663 to learn about our customized in-home care plans.