Seniors need to remain physically active to maintain a healthy weight. Exercise has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing a variety of medical conditions, and research suggests that engaging in exercise reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 50 percent. Here are a few ways exercise lowers Alzheimer’s risk.
1. Lowers APOE-Related Risk
Some people have a gene variant known as APOE epsilon4, and seniors who test positive for this gene have a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. However, researchers from Cleveland Clinic learned that exercise can reduce Alzheimer’s risk. The scientists studied a group of elderly people who had the APOE epsilon4 gene. The group was divided in two. The members of one subgroup began regular exercise routines, while the other subgroup’s members continued living their lives without exercise. The researchers found the people in the group that exercised scored higher on cognitive function tests compared to those in the control group. Imaging studies indicated that the brains of the seniors who exercised looked similar to people who didn’t have the APOE gene.
For seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions that make it difficult to exercise safely on their own, professional caregivers can be a wonderful asset. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care service. Dallas families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia.
2. Increases Nutrients in the Body
It’s widely known that exercise benefits cardiovascular health. Scientists from the University of Kentucky learned more about how cardiovascular health also boosts mental wellbeing. As the heart and blood vessels are better able to circulate blood throughout the body, the brain receives more oxygen and nutrients. When the brain is well nourished, it’s better able to grow and undergo repair when needed. The neurons also create an increased number of acetylcholine receptors. The neurotransmitter and associated receptor sites play an important role in communication between the neurons.
3. Promotes Neuron Growth
When seniors exercise regularly, their brains produce neurotrophic factors, which are necessary for them to develop new cells and grow properly. When their brains function at their best, older adults enjoy better emotional health and sleep patterns and are less likely to experience anxiety and stress. All of these factors also boost cognitive health.
4. Minimizes Brain Shrinkage
Scientists from Scotland studied more than 600 older adults to learn the effects of exercise on the brain. They evaluated imaging studies of the volunteers’ brains. The individuals who exercised had less brain shrinkage compared to those who preferred sedentary lifestyles. A study performed at the University of British Columbia also revealed that cycling, jogging, and swimming increase the size of the hippocampus, which is the region of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
Older adults who need help exercising should consider professional in-home care. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elderly care. Dallas Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
5. Reduces Inflammation
A study published in a 2011 issue of Brain, Behavior, and Immunity explained that older adults who regularly exercise have less inflammation. The brain and body produce chemicals that inhibit inflammation and protect cells from the damage caused in the presence of irritants. However, researchers were unsure whether the brain effectively reduced the presence of the harmful toxins that cause inflammation or assisted in their breakdown and removal.
If your loved one does develop Alzheimer’s disease, your family doesn’t have to go through it alone. Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to handle. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Dallas Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Whether your parent needs hourly or live-in care, give us a call at (214) 363-3400 today.