Exercise for Seniors: Mobility Equals Independence and Memory Retention
Have you ever heard the phrase “If you can’t stand alone, you can’t live alone”? Exercise is a key factor in allowing seniors to maintain their mobility and independence. It is also increasingly more clear that exercise delays the onset, as well as slows the progress, of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, in older adults. If you live in the year-round pleasant climate of San Mateo, you have few excuses to not get out and enjoy some exercise in the CA sunshine.
What Research Shows Exercise Does for Seniors
Research continues to indicate that there is a direct relationship between older adults who stay active and their risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s. The higher a senior’s exercise and activity level remains, the more reduced his or her risk of developing these will be. Although contributing risk factors linked to Alzheimer’s disease, like genetics and age cannot be controlled, health and lifestyle factors, like diet and exercise, most certainly can be.
A year-long National Institute on Aging (NIA) study reports that senior adults who exercised a minimum of three times weekly were far less prone to developing dementia than older adults who are less active. These results were confirmed by another research group’s six-year study with the same results. The growing body of research clearly demonstrates if seniors engage in a consistent program of exercise weekly, they greatly reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s or age-related dementia.
How Does Exercise Accomplish This?
Researchers indicate that exercise does the following:
• stimulates the ability of the brain to maintain old nerve network connections as well as make new ones, a process vital for maintaining cognition.
• increases the brain’s blood supply through increasing small blood vessels.
• increases the number of nerve cell connections between these cells.
• increases the level of a protein (nerve growth factor) essential to brain health in the brain’s area controlling learning and memory.
• such as a weekly aerobic walking program can improve connectivity between the brain nerve cells engaged in planning, daydreaming, organizing tasks and recalling information from the past.
Incorporating Exercise in the Senior Care San Mateo Provides
For exercise in elderly care San Mateo has many programs available at their Senior Center, including paced exercise programs from yoga to tennis and dancing classes. Can’t get out easily? Hire a companion caregiver from an agency like Always Best Care to assist. The Parks and Recreation department provides two community pools for the aerobic exercise of swimming. Seniors have plenty of walking opportunities in the dozen neighborhood parks and larger community parks. Seniors may also go boating on the lagoon.
Seniors who need ongoing care and assistance to maintain their independence and continue to live at home can enlist their in-home caregiver ‘s help to develop and maintain a regular exercise program. Caregivers can walk with them, drive them to the parks, pools or Senior Center, and monitor their pulse and overall well-being during exercise. With compassionate companion care, older adults can start an exercise program that enables them to lead a more physically and mentally active life. To learn more about senior assistance in the home, call Angela Encarnacion with Always Best Care today at (650) 634-8270.