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Can Physical Exercise Promote Elderly Brain Health?

Though exercise is generally known for having positive physical effects, it can also have a significant impact on a senior’s mental and emotional wellbeing. Seniors receiving Westfield in-home care can benefit from the brain-boosting effects of exercise, so the next time you’re trying to persuade your elderly loved one to stay active, tell him or her about these additional benefits. 

It Can Boost Memory

Studies are showing regular exercise can help jog the brain’s ability to function, especially in tasks related to thinking and memory. Exercise results in less brain fog, helping combat loss of knowledge and reduced capabilities related to thinking and problem solving. In fact, brain scans reveal people who participated in regular exercise for 6 months or more had increased volume and activity in the regions of the brain devoted to thinking and memory. 

It Reduces Stroke Risk

Seniors are at the highest risk for strokes compared to any other age group. This is generally because the risk factors causing the majority of strokes are also most prevalent in the elderly. However, exercising can prevent many stroke risk factors from developing. The likelihood of a blood clot reaching the brain or even forming at all is much less likely in someone who exercises. Overall brain health in this case is more about prevention than cure, which is why exercise can be helpful. 

It Increases Emotional Wellbeing

Exercise heightens the amount of endorphins the body produces, which are the body’s natural “feel-good” hormone that help with stress, sadness, and pain. Since exercise heightens the brain’s stimulation and produces these endorphins, people usually report feeling happier, calmer, and more relaxed after exercising. Seniors are less likely to experience depression, anxiety, or agitation if they exercise on a regular basis. Aging can be a difficult time in a person’s life and bring about new challenges that haven’t been faced before, but exercise can also help with feeling better and keeping a positive self-image. 

It Helps Create Healthy Brain Cells

Studies are showing exercise helps with overall health and brain function. These studies show a strong connection between exercise and the brain’s ability to continue creating healthy new cells throughout the aging process. Brain scans show seniors who exercised had more brain cells and that these cells looked more active and healthier than those found in scans of seniors who didn’t exercise. This connection is exciting to researchers since many believe brain cell longevity and dementia are linked. While no one knows for sure what causes dementia, research suggests seniors can at least decrease the risk of developing this condition or other cognitive decline disorders by exercising, making it an important component of providing dementia home care Westfield seniors can benefit from.

For other solutions to boost your loved one’s brain health, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We offer dementia and Alzheimer’s home care Westfield families trust, and all of our caregivers are trained in the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, an activities-based program that helps slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. For more information, please call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 908.450.9400 to schedule a free consultation.