Everybody knows how important it is to be active for our physical health, but studies are now uncovering many more far-reaching rewards – namely, a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and a slowed rate of cognitive decline in older adults. The reason for the link is not yet fully understood, but there are two theories under consideration regarding increased cognitive function:
- Physical activity stops the formation of the plaques and tangles connected with Alzheimer’s, or
- It promotes cognitive resilience, the ability for the brain to continue to perform regardless of the brain damage as a result of the disease.
A recent study was conducted involving nearly 500 participants from the Rush Memory and Aging Project. The older adults committed, over the course of their lives, to undergo several behavioral, cognitive, and biomedical tests, and also to donate brain and other tissue after death. Those carrying out the study focused specifically on the seniors’ last 2 years of life, calculating motor function, cognition, and daily physical activity.
Researchers evaluated brain tissue from the participants to detect signs of Alzheimer’s, as well as other forms of brain disease and damage. Nearly across the board, a minimum of one kind of brain damage or disease was detected; however, factoring in higher amounts of regular exercise led to improved cognitive function – supporting the theory of cognitive resilience countering the effects of neurodegeneration.
Because the research team focused in on the participants’ last 2 years of life, it is not clear whether a lifetime of physical activity had an effect on these outcomes, nor does it consider the point that those with an increased level of cognitive functioning might have equated to a naturally higher rate of regular exercise. All the same, the scientific study provides promising data to help further support the advantage of continued exercise all through aging.
We would love to assist the seniors in your life begin the new year with a renewed concentration on improving health and fitness levels! Our fully trained and experienced caregivers can help in many ways, such as:
- Providing transportation to the doctor’s office for a physical and approval to begin a brand-new workout program
- Accompanying older adults to exercise classes, swimming, walking, or working out at the gym
- Inspiring and motivating older adults to keep up higher quantities of physical activity
- Planning and preparing healthy and balanced meals to give seniors the energy necessary to stay active
- And so much more!
Contact Live Free Home Health Care, trusted providers of senior care services in Concord and the surrounding communities, at 603-217-0149 to arrange a free in-home assessment and learn how we can help make 2020 the very best year yet for an older adult you love!