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How Staying Fit Can Possibly Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer's

January 19, 2016

Cognitive decline and memory loss have long been thought to be dreadfully unavoidable.  However, some seniors in senior living communities are discovering that staying active and fit can help promote memory function and are incorporating exercise into their lifestyle.

Therapy guyReputable non-profit senior care facilities recognize the importance of staying fit and provide ample opportunities for seniors to stay active and healthy all year round.  As you age, incorporating regular physical activity and exercise into your lifestyle can not only help you feel better and live longer, but can also possibly protect your memory.

Remember to always consult your physician or health care professional before making a change to your exercise routine.

Exercise and Alzheimer’s disease

Exercise promotes blood flow and boosts oxygen consumption, two factors known to provide cardiovascular benefits.  These same factors can also help the brain function better and work more efficiently.  New research suggests that exercise has a protective function of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory.  

Additional research shows that regular exercise helps maintain the structure and function in the brains of people at high risk for Alzheimer’s disease.  After completing an 18-month program of regular exercise, the brains of these volunteers looked just like the brains of volunteers at lower risk for the disease.   Exercise also reduces the risk of diabetes, heart attack and stroke, all of which individually serve as risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Working physical activity into your day

Many senior care facilities provide structured exercise classes, such as dancing or tai chi. However, even short bursts of activity broken into small chunks of time provides health benefits.  Try taking a walk to pick up your morning newspaper or mail.  Turn your walk into a lap around your community, visiting with friends or watching birds along the way.  After your breakfast or while watching TV, try a few repetitions of some simple dumbbell exercises to tone your arms and shoulders.  While standing and holding on to a railing or chair, do leg lifts and simple stretches.  

Finding a buddy will allow you both to motivate each other and hold each other accountable.  Many senior care facilities provide opportunities for social interaction, where exercise buddies with similar interests and goals can be matched.

Regular activity in your senior living community can help decrease stress, improve your mood and strengthen your body. If that’s not enough to motivate you to get active, then exercise to significantly improve your memory performance.  Once you become more active, you might just find that you feel better overall!

If you’re looking for a way to stay active well into your later years, schedule a tour of one of the beautiful senior care communities from Concordia Lutheran Ministries. Our caregivers put their faith into everything they do, helping seniors make the most out of each and every day. Whether you are in need of memory care services or just want a fresh start in a new community, take a tour of a Concordia location near you today.  You can also call our administrative headquarters at 1-888-352-1571 or message us through the Contact form on our website.

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