Exercise & Memory Care for Seniors


While there is no 100-percent proven method for preventing memory loss or the onset of diseases such as Parkinson’s, there are lifestyle choices and changes, as well as activities that can be adopted that may help to slow their progression. Read on to learn more.

Nutrition

Adopting healthy nutrition habits is not only good for keeping the body fit, it can also improve your overall brain health. While a specific nutrition plan and what works for each individual is best decided by themselves and a doctor, there have been studies that diets that consist of lean meats, as well as an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables do correlate with positive brain function. In fact, those who followed this approach to nutrition were 20% less likely to have issues with memory.

There are other foods that are brain-health powerhouses due to the nutrients they provide. These foods include sweet potatoes, berries, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, while limiting red meat, as well as processed foods.

While there is no magic potion or perfect recipe for completely removing the risk of cognitive loss, consuming a healthy diet with a variety of nutritious foods can positively impact overall health and brain function.

Physical Fitness

Maintaining an active lifestyle is important for everyone, but can have a profoundly positive impact upon memory health for seniors. According to Ozioma Okonkwo, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, physical activity can help to repair and protect brain cells from degeneration, as well as help to grow new brain cells and neurons.

That means that remaining physically active can not only help to prevent cognitive degeneration, it can also help us to repair our brains.

Yoga

Because Yoga is a practice that requires strength, stretching, awareness, and focus, it can have a particularly noticeable impact upon brain health. In fact, it has been shown to improve attention span, processing speed and overall memory function. It can also be extremely beneficial for those experiencing the physical impacts of diseases such as Parkinson’s, as it helps to increase mobility and flexibility, loosening tight and painful muscles over time.

While it may not be a cure, it can enhance body movement and focus while improving quality of life.

Boxing

While it is not expected or suggested to step into a ring anytime soon, a non-contact boxing workout will test balance, agility and hand-eye coordination, all of which can be greatly impacted by Parkinson’s Disease. A 2011 research study published in the journal, “Physical Therapy,” showed that “there are improvements in walking, balance, performance of daily activities and quality of life in six people who boxed regularly.” In addition, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation, research shows that getting at least two and half hours of exercise per week is enough to slow the decline in a person’s quality of life.

While exercise and nutrition alone may not be a cure-all for memory loss and diseases such as Parkinson’s, they can help to improve quality of live and do have many physical benefits, as well.

If you or someone in your care is in need of assistance or would like to become more physically active, contact your local community center or reach out to us for a list of available resources.

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