Strength For Life – Exercise For The Elderly For Good Brain Health

Even though we have heard it many times already, exercise does indeed make a significant difference to your health and wellbeing everyday. It’s not just about your muscle tone and straight spine. It is much more than that, exercise also maintains your mental and emotional wellbeing, especially for the elderly.

Did you know? More than 400,000 people are living with dementia in Australia today? Exercise programs for the elderly have been shown to improve brain health, and it is never too late to start.

The Benefits of Exercise for the Brain

Exercise improves your mood

Exercising regularly every week reduces stress and improves your mood as it stimulates the release of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which are chemicals that the brain needs for better functioning and overall wellbeing.

Exercise reduces inflammation

Inflammation occurs through many factors such as disease, stress, worry and a poor diet. Exercise reduces inflammation in the brain as well as other organs of the body through propagating the right nutrients to the right parts of your body and releasing toxins in your sweat along the way.

Exercise will reduce cognitive impairment

Prolonged stress, anxiety and depression damages the brain cells so exercising regularly will help you to maintain your cognitive function. Exercise helps to reduce these ailments, not just through the physical workout but also through the mental and social stimulation that go along with it.

Exercise will keep you socially engaged

Going for a walk, doing yoga or attending our Strength For Life sessions will keep you socially engaged with other people. We all need some time alone, but extended isolation leads to mental health issues which lead to cognitive impairment.

Exercise challenges your brain

Anything that keeps your love of learning active is good for your brain. Learning new things creates neural pathways throughout your brain to accommodate and process the new information. Learning about your body, its limitations and strengths, can be a whole new discovery that brings with it some very important information about ways to improve your health and wellbeing.

Exercise keeps dementia at bay

Aerobic exercise that gets your heart and blood pumping and your sweat glands working will protect the hippocampus which has been shown to reduce in size with the onset of dementia. The hippocampus governs memory and spatial navigation and is the first part of the brain to be affected by dementia.

Exercise increases blood circulation

Just like your water pipes transport water throughout your home, so do your blood vessels transport blood throughout your body. If you have ever had plumbing problems at home, you will understand how frustrating it is when you cannot have a warm shower just by turning the tap on. The same goes for the human body, if the plumbing gets stuck, our blood does not flow effectively and all sorts of blockages can occur.

Exercising regularly keeps the blood actively flowing, transporting those toxins out, and making sure the good nutrients get to where they need to be for better health.

What sort of exercise is good for the brain?

Any gentle exercise that increases the heart rate so that you generate a slight sweat is good exercise. Walking and yoga are excellent, even house-keeping chores such as mopping, vacuuming or gardening are effective if these activities increase your heart rate and you sweat a little.

Or You Can Opt for St Louis’ Strength For Life Program

St Louis Aged Care run Strength For Life programs every week at our Dudley Street premises in Marryatville. Have a look at our timetable and come along to join in with a group of other like-minded people who want some fun and fitness with professional trainers for the elderly.

The COTA Strength For Life program encourages staying active and maintaining your health and wellbeing for people over 50 through strength training programs run by accredited fitness providers.

Call St Louis Home Care Adelaide on 08 8332 0950 to book in or chat with one of our friendly staff. Or contact St Louis Home Care Victor Harbor 8552 1481 to see what fitness programs are on offer in the community.

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