Alzheimer’s Disease and Exercise

Elders in group fitness class

Exercise benefits elders in countless ways. Not only does it help your heart stay healthy and your bones stay strong, but physical activity can also reduce the risk for chronic conditions like diabetes, arthritis and osteoporosis, improves balance to reduce the risk of a fall, and can even enhance your mood. Elders who exercise are able to better fight off infection and heal from injuries faster, too.

Recently, experts agree that physical activity may be one of the best, most cost-effective ways to improve your brain function and memory – and possibly, prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Does Exercise Aid in Alzheimer’s Prevention?

Studies show that people who are physically active are less likely to experience a decline in their mental function, which can lead to a lower risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease revealed that people who did moderate-intensity workouts regularly were more likely to have healthy patterns of glucose metabolism in their brains, which is a key indicator of healthy brain activity, than those who were not physically active.

Physical activity also helps the brain stay healthy by keeping your blood flowing while increasing the chemicals that protect it. Exercise can also counter some of the natural reductions in brain connections that tend to be a part of the aging process.

As there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease at this time, the ability to pinpoint possible ways to prevent its onset represents a promising step in Alzheimer’s research.

Exercise and Alzheimer’s Management

While physical activity can aid in Alzheimer’s prevention, it can also help improve quality of life for individuals currently living with the condition. Another recent study showed that levels of tau, the protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease, fell in those who participated in regular aerobic exercise. These individuals also experienced increased blood flow in the memory and processing centers of their brains. They also displayed other improvements such as better attention spans and the ability to plan and organize.

As exercise is known to also improve mood, individuals with Alzheimer’s disease who are physically active also experienced a reduction in some common symptoms, such as less irritability, anxiety and depression than those who remain sedentary. Plus, exercise can also slow the progression of the disease overall.

Get started in a senior exercise program today! You’ll feel better physically, mentally and emotionally – and you can reduce some of the concerns you may have about potential memory loss or cognitive decline.

American Senior Communities offers a person-centered, wellness-based model of dementia care within our Auguste’s Cottage program and our assisted living memory care apartments throughout our locations. Contact us today to request more information.

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Disclaimer: The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any message and will not be held responsible for the content of any message. Always consult your personal physician for specific medical advice.