Improvements in medical care mean your parents can expect to be living well into their 80s and 90s. But longer…
Did you know that only species that move have a brain? The relationship between Brain and movement is incredibly tight. If you want to maintain a healthy mind, you need to move.
If we were born to move, why is been so difficult for some people to exercise?
A recent poll published in the Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine found something interesting for the adult population: The old gym class at the school has something to do. According to the findings, the PE classes offered back in the day turned quite a few people off exercise for life. Years later, the people interviewed recalled yelling teachers, boring routines and calisthenics, uncomfortable comparisons with others, and the humiliation of being picked last when teams were chosen … to say nothing of embarrassment and bullying in the shower room. For many of us, physical fitness seemed like an unpleasant obligation that we were quick to abandon once a grade didn’t hang over our head.
That’s too bad because study after study shows that staying physically active is the top factor when it comes to healthy aging. Exercise strengthens muscles, heart, and lungs. It staves off a host of diseases. Exercise is one of the best things we can do for our brains, as well. For example, you’re probably familiar with those “tip of the tongue” memory lapses where you find yourself saying “Wait, wait, don’t tell me!” A 2018 study from the University of Birmingham in the UK found that seniors who exercise regularly struggle much less to find words to express themselves.
Use it or you lose it.
You go to the gym to stimulate muscle growth, just as you use a brain fitness program to increase Brain connections. The benefits of physical exercise, have positive effects on brain function on multiple fronts, ranging from the molecular to behavioral level.
So if you want to develop a new relationship with exercise, these 4 topics might help:
- Getting started may be the hardest part, that is why you need a friend, a partner, or a caregiver who can motivate you and force you to overcome an aversion to exercise. This isn’t just a matter of habit; scientists point out that our ancestors had to work hard for a living—hunting, gathering, planting, and harvesting. They didn’t have calories to spare! So for most of us, there’s an inborn tendency to want to rest. But with regular exercise, our bodies begin to crave the good feeling we get when we move.
- Exercise with a friend, partner, or a caregiver. A 2018 study from the University of British Columbia found that older adults are much more likely to be active if they work out with a buddy—and especially, noted the researchers, if the other person is near their age.
- Small amounts are enough. Studies show that several shorter workouts every day can be just as effective as a more extended session. Anything that gets us moving is good. A recent study from Tufts University called “Small increases in physical activity reduce immobility, disability risks in older adults” . done in a group of seniors aged 70—89 who hadn’t been exercising found, “Adding 48 minutes of moderate exercise per week is associated with improvements in overall physical functioning and decreases in risks of immobility in older adults who are sedentary. In another study done by the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia, found that even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions.
- Enjoying” Walking, gardening, even doing housework provide small doses of exercise that can add up. Tai chi and yoga also offer a surprising amount of strength building and help prevent falls but the best option to enjoy and protect your brain is dancing. Dancing is by far is the greatest risk reduction of mental illness than any activity studied. In one of the famous studies ever, the Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly Study done by the New England Journal of Medicine. proved how certain activities reduce Cognitive Decline. Take a look at these results from the study.
- Reading – 35% reduced risk of dementia,
- Doing crossword and word puzzles at least four days a week – 47%,
- Dancing frequently – 76%
Home care can help
When it comes to keeping seniors active, professional home care services can be a big plus. The caregiver can provide supervision and encouragement during exercise at home, or take clients out to an exercise class, to the pool, or for a walk at the mall when it’s too cold, too hot, or raining.
With a professional caregiver taking over some of the personal care, health care management, and other tasks, this frees up precious time so family caregivers can focus on their own health—and that includes exercise.
At Assisting Hands, we take exercise as one of our major care plan priorities. Write to us to [email protected] now and find the best way to start an exercise plan for you or your beloved one.
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