Exercise and Seniors: The Links Between Physical Activity and Alzheimer’s Prevention
When it comes to experiencing good health, exercise is vital, regardless of age. For seniors, though, exercise can be especially beneficial for keeping injuries and illnesses away, boosting mental health, improving flexibility and balance and maintaining independence. Poor mobility — or a complete lack of it — is a common factor that prevents seniors from living on their own, but with a regular exercise routine, elderly individuals can continue to perform a variety of activities and live more freely.
These days, more and more seniors are convinced of the benefits associated with aging in place, staying healthy and remaining active, which is why they are turning to exercise in greater numbers. Seniors also want to avoid the difficulties associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The good news is that it’s never too late to start. By incorporating exercise into a daily routine slowly and steadily, seniors can avoid many of the pitfalls of aging while feeling healthier, stronger and more confident.
The Top Three Exercise Categories for Active Seniors
Seniors can benefit the most by focusing their energies on three main types of exercise:
Aerobic movement helps seniors develop improved lung and heart health. It can also help with blood flow to the brain, which can decrease the chances of suffering a stroke or developing certain forms of dementia. Biking, walking, swimming and jogging are all terrific aerobic activities.
Strength training can help seniors become stronger and develop muscle tone, which aids the elderly when it comes to keeping up with daily activities and personal care. Light weights and resistance bands work wonders on arms and legs, giving seniors better muscle control. This also keeps seniors active and thinking on their toes, which can lead to a decreased risk of dementia.
Balance and flexibility are helpful when it comes to fall prevention. They are also crucial in terms of maintaining the ability to dress or groom oneself. Yoga and tai chi are incredibly popular activities that improve flexibility and balance in seniors. Simple stretches can also provide benefits. Remaining flexible is a great way to boost brain health, too: a lot of mental power goes into keeping the body upright — more than you might think — so when work is done to improve balance and flexibility, it helps stave off brain diseases, too.
Locating the Best Exercise Programs for Seniors in San Diego
Numerous local gyms and recreation centers provide fitness and exercise classes designed especially for seniors. One of these programs — SilverSneakers — is designed for adults aged 65 or older. Seniors can apply for free membership in such programs through Medicare Advantage plans. Classes include everything from basic, low-impact aerobic workouts to tougher, high-intensity classes for seniors who are in top physical condition. Whatever your senior’s interest, be it dancing, yoga, water aerobics, walking or something else, a class is probably available that fits their needs, interests and ability level.
SilverSneakers provides seniors with a chance to stay active with other older adults and a certified trainer on site to provide guidance. Aging individuals in programs like this stay in shape, but they make friends and have fun, too, which is critical for brain health and Alzheimer’s prevention! Aspects like balance, strength, endurance, flexibility and others can be improved through these programs, and seniors no longer have to feel restricted by a shrinking list of activities that they can do. Classes give them countless opportunities to explore new things and improve their overall health in the process. Adaptations are made for seniors with special needs. Many classes can also be modified for those who need to sit.
The combination of regular exercise and support from a San Diego in home care provider allows seniors to age in place more safely, confidently and comfortably, knowing that they’re doing everything possible to stay healthy and avoid dementia. Services can be tailored to the exact level of support that’s needed, giving your senior the freedom to remain independent.
If you’d like to learn more about providing your senior with the ideal level of support required to help stave off Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, call Always Best Care at (619) 757-1114 today. We invite you to learn more about our companionship services and we would be honored to meet with you and your loved one for a consultation, without charge. Always Best Care of San Diego, where going the extra mile is not just what we do, it’s who we are. We look forward to hearing from you!