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 and 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, an in-home care provider Prescott, AZ, 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 healthy habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Prescott families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
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.
For many families in Prescott, AZ, Alzheimer’s care is an essential component of helping their elderly loved ones remain healthy, safe, and happy in the comfort of home. From cognitive stimulation to help with tasks like meal prep, light housekeeping, and transportation, the caregivers at Home Care Assistance are the top choice for families who cannot provide the Alzheimer’s care their aging loved ones need and deserve. If your senior loved one needs help managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, call us at (928) 771-0105 today.