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5 Ways Exercise Boosts Memory in Older Adults

By Debbie Nunn, 9:00 am on

As adults grow older, their physical health decreases, impacting the way they move, think, and communicate, which is typically caused by a decreased blood flow or changes in the hormones and proteins responsible for protecting and repairing brain cells. However, staying physically active can boost brain health and keep your aging loved one’s memory in good shape. Here are some of the ways exercising enhances memory in seniors. 

1. Increases Serotonin Levels 

Being depressed affects more than mood. It also has a negative impact on the memory. When your loved one is depressed, it could make it difficult for him or her to think clearly or multitask. Over time, depression affects long-term memory and procedural memory, which control motor skills. Staying physically active boosts levels of serotonin in older adults, alleviating the symptoms of depression. 

Some seniors require assistance with exercise. Clarksville senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

2. Leads to Better Circulation

Poor blood circulation could affect the way your loved one’s brain functions, increasing the risk of poor memory and the inability to concentrate. A good way to get the blood pumping throughout the body is to exercise. Staying physically active can increase blood flow and prevent narrowing arteries that lead to the brain. Dancing is one of the best physical activities for older adults because it involves coordination and has cardiovascular benefits. 

Caring for a senior with memory loss can be challenging. Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you are caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Clarksville families who want to avoid burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.

3. Relieves Stress

High levels of stress can make it difficult for seniors to focus and pay attention to certain things, affecting their short-term memory. When stress isn’t managed properly, aging adults may also have difficulty concentrating. If your loved one’s mind is tense and distracted, his or her ability to remember could be impacted. Encourage your loved one to exercise on a regular basis. Moderate exercise can produce chemicals that fight against the stress hormone known as cortisol, which can boost your loved one’s memory and stave off Alzheimer’s. 

4. Boosts Creativity

Seniors can take advantage of this benefit when they try out new exercise routines. They will need to learn new steps while incorporating general techniques from the past, which keeps the body and mind active. Creativity also occurs when seniors participate in other physical activities. For example, seniors can develop solutions to overloaded schedules while walking around the track at a local park.

5. Enhances Sleep Quality

Failing to get a good night of sleep can interfere with the way your loved one’s brain functions. He or she may be restless at night, causing brain fog throughout the day, which is why exercising is important. Exercise strengthens the circadian rhythms, which is a process that promotes daytime alertness and better sleeping patterns. In addition to enhancing sleep quality, moderate exercise can also increase sleep duration, allowing the brain to rid itself of harmful toxins that impact the way it functions.

Memory loss or cognitive decline can lead to other serious health conditions. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior home care. Clarksville families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. Call (931) 218-2781 to talk to one of our friendly Care Managers today.

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