Remain Physically Active To Slow Down The Progression Of Alzheimer
The occurrence of diseases is a common phenomenon as age progresses. Some people suffer from physical disabilities while others suffer from behavioral or mental issues. Around the world, many old age people suffer from one progressive disorder, Alzheimer. It is a disorder that results in the degeneration and death of brain cells. These brain cells are important to perform mental functions appropriately. Due to the degeneration of cells, a person’s ability to think wisely, behave and interact properly disrupts significantly. An early symptom of the condition is poor or loss of memory. Mild forgetfulness includes not remembering a person’s age, not remembering what to do, etc. These are a normal part of aging and not serious memory loss issues.
If a person is facing serious memory loss problems, it could be a warning bell and indicate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Many studies reveal that remaining physically active for four-five days a week may delay the onset of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or improve the quality of life of affected people. Before uncovering the aforementioned fact in detail, let’s take a quick overview of the early symptoms of this progressive disorder.
- Memory Loss – This is one of the most common symptoms. Forgetting important dates and events, not remembering family members’ names, asking for the same information again and again, etc., are clear indicators of memory loss.
- Performing Daily Tasks Becomes Challenging – When a person is not able to remember familiar things and due to which he is not able to complete his day-to-day task, it is one of the early signs of Alzheimer. Some of the examples are trouble driving to that location where a person visits daily, not remembering the rules of a favorite game, not recognizing or remembering the names of family members, etc.
- Trouble In Planning & Taking Decisions – A person is not able to take informed decisions and even finds planning even small things as an impossible task. Even if he plans, he is not able to stick with it. He usually finds it hard to concentrate on anything, he starts less interacting with his friends, stops wearing clothes as per weather conditions, etc.
- Changes In Behavior and Personality – The damage of brain cells significantly affects the behaviors and moods of a person. Problems arise like social withdrawal, mood swings, loss of inhibitions, changes in sleeping habits, feeling low at all times, etc.
Prevention Of Alzheimer
It is a complex disorder which usually caused by a number of factors like age, genetics, poor lifestyle habits, etc. Moreover, there is no surefire way of treating the condition. However, many studies highlight the fact that if a brain works in a better manner, there are high chances of delaying the symptoms of Alzheimer and improving the quality of life of affected people. Exercising several times a week actually delay brain deterioration in those people who are at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Now, the question arises of how and why exercise helps such people.
Exercise Slows Down Memory Loss Functions
It is an age-old fact that exercise provides innumerable health benefits ranging from reducing the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, reducing stress to strengthening the bones and muscles. When a person indulges in any form of physical activity, it actually benefits his brain. Physical exercise maintains adequate blood flow in the body and the brain, which increases the amount of oxygen in the brain. It increases the production of chemicals that actually protect the brain. Additionally, it improves the metabolism of brain cells and increases hormones and proteins which are actually good for the brain cells. When a person is physically active, his/her body gets the natural power to counter some of the adverse effects of aging.
Research also shows that the accumulation of amyloid beta in the brain confirms the presence of Alzheimer’s disease as they kill neurons of the brain. So, if an Alzheimer’s patient of 60 years of age indulges in a physical exercise session for 30 minutes a day five times in a week, he is actually favoring his brain by slowing down its effects. Exercise does not prevent the spread of toxic amyloid beta in the brain but definitely slows down or reduces its effects.
Regular Exercise Is Indispensable
As per Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation, “Regular physical exercise reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer in old age people by 50 percent”. Regular exercise even helps in slowing down the further deterioration of brain cells in those people who are already facing cognitive problems. Exercising 20-60 minutes a day several times a week helps in:
- Sharpening the learning, reasoning and thinking skills.
- Improving cognitive functions like memory, judgment, etc. for people suffering from mild Alzheimer’s disease.
- May delay the onset of symptoms of the progressive disorder.
Moderate levels of resistance and weight training exercises increase muscle mass and promote brain health. Therefore, aiming for moderate exercise in combination with strength training and cardio exercises every week for 30 minutes is a boon for Alzheimer-affected people.
Best Exercises For Alzheimer’s Patients
The kind of exercise that will bring the best result for Alzheimer’s patients depends upon the fitness level, symptoms and overall health condition. The main idea is to keep the brain active and challenged. Beginners can start with walking and swimming.
- Those who are physically active should try to challenge their brain by learning a new language or a new musical instrument.
- Try to play new board games with grandkids. If possible, play card games with friends. This will help in improving social connections which actually helps the brain.
- Tech-savvy people can try online video or memory games.
- Solve crosswords of alphabets or numbers.
Including coordination and balancing exercise in a daily exercise regimen is extremely beneficial. The reason is, poor balance is a common issue during old age. And as person ages, head injuries from fall are quite common and increases the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. So, balancing and coordination exercises help a person to stay fit and agile.
Exercise Tips For Alzheimer’s Patients
It is necessary that people with Alzheimer should follow certain tips while doing exercises. These tips are as follows:
- Consult your healthcare professional before starting any exercise. Once he gives a nod, then only plan and follow the exercise regimen.
- Make a slow start. For instance, start with a 10-minute walking session for one month. When the body adopts a new exercise schedule, increase the duration of exercise sessions.
- Avoid doing workout sessions at such places which have slippery floors, cords lying here and there, low lighting, etc.
- If a person is trying to coordinate and balance exercises, do not forget to cover the head while exercising like cycling, swimming, etc. Wearing a helmet and cap is mandatory.
- If a person hurts himself or falls sick, stop the exercises on an immediate basis and seek medical intervention.
- Start with those hobbies or activities which a person usually enjoys. For instance, senior citizens are quite fond of walking, gardening, yoga, etc., so they can start their exercise schedule with these activities.
To conclude, exercise is good for Alzheimer’s patients as it helps people to sleep better, stay alert during the entire day, keep them busy and improve their moods and behaviors. Exercising on a regular basis like walking, gardening, swimming, yoga, etc. reduces their stress level and gives a sense of accomplishment. However, a person should seek a healthcare professional’s approval before starting any moderate-intensity exercise. A fact to remember is exercise does not cure Alzheimer; it only brings improvement in some of its symptoms.
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Disclaimer: It is to bring to your notice that this article contains information for general purposes only; do not consider it as professional medical advice. In case of any health problem related to Alzheimer, consultation with an experienced health professional is necessary.