“Exercise is good for your health.” I think everyone would agree with that statement. Seems like a no-brainer. But something everyone may not know is that exercise is good for the health of your brain as well. This is especially true in older adults. Research shows that adults “aged 60 to 80, who exercised for 30 to 45 minutes three days a week for a year had an increase in the part of the brain that controls memory.” This is a vital piece of information seeing as how one in every eight individuals over the age of 65 will suffer from dementia in the form of Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and affects 5.4 million people. Even with sizable research, the causes of Alzheimer’s disease still remain unknown. Since we do not know the cause, there currently is no cure either. How Alzheimer’s effects the brain is mostly in loss of memory, problems with thinking and drastic changes in behavior.
As we have said, regular exercise helps brain functionality in older adults. There are great benefits that an exercise program can bring for people with Alzheimer’s:
- Maintaining current motor skills
- Reduction in the number of falls
- Improved behavior
- Improved memory
- Better communication skills
- Higher levels of cognitive functioning
Researchers at CNN said, “The strongest evidence for a lifestyle choice associated with Alzheimer’s prevention is exercise.” It is a theory (and a hope) that a regular exercise routine consisting of as little as 30 minutes, three times a week could prevent the disease before clinical symptoms occur. It is a small lifestyle change that could prevent a great deal of pain and sadness. Personal trainers have a great opportunity to help be a part of getting this highly specialized population back to some normalcy.