Why Exercise is Important For Our Residents
We often talk about the need for a healthy lifestyle and a good amount of exercise, especially when we’re young, but it’s also important that we maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout our lives. This is especially for older people, when it’s all too easy for exercise to fall by the wayside.
This is especially true for people living with dementia. Exercise has an incredibly positive effect on both the quality of daily life, but also on long term outcomes for dementia, including limited respite from further development of symptoms. As such, exercise is a key part of dementia care.
5 Key Benefits of Exercise
In this knowledge hub article, we’re going to outline some of the key benefits of exercise that we’ve found are most applicable to people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Improving Mental Health
It’s generally understood that regular exercise improves general health — which is a consideration that shouldn’t be ignored by itself — but exercise also has a noted positive effect on mental health, too. While we’ve known about the positive effects of exercise for thousands of years, it’s only in the past century or so that we’ve been able to quantify that effect.
For example, in a study conducted by FJ Penedo and JR Dahn in 2005, it was found that people felt uniformly more content, awake and calmer after being physically active; in comparison, people who had been sedentary for a time (IE reading a book or watching television) felt the opposite. Penedo and Dahn also discovered that this effect was only magnified when the initial mood was low — implying that exercise does have potential as a valid treatment for low moods.
The reasons why exercise has such a positive effect on mental health are many and varied. Exercise promotes neutral growth, reduced inflammation in the part of the brain, as well as new patterns of activity in various parts of the brain. However, regardless of the specific reason why, the benefits of exercise on a person’s mental health is undeniable.
Improves the Immune System
Research studies completed over the past few decades have shown unanimously that continued exercise, whether in isolation or as part of a larger group, has a positive effect on the human immune system. Just as the core muscles and stamina are strengthened through repeated physical activity, so too is the body’s ability to fight viruses and infection.
With a better immune system, of course, comes numerous benefits: an improved ability to fight viruses and infections, ability to heal quicker, and (most importantly of all) a longer life expectancy. As such, we believe that providing exercise is one of the most important of our personal care services.
Improves Coordination and Decreased Risk of Fall
Exercise, at its most basic level, is using your body in order to accomplish a task. This might be running, lifting weights, or sitting up. Or it might be something as simple as walking to the shop or lifting up a jug of milk. It’s all exercise.
The only difference between the former and latter examples is that one is measured, while the other is not. By doing one, you improve your body’s ability to accomplish the other.
That’s why exercise is so important when it comes to coordination. By exercising, you are training your body to accomplish various tasks more efficiently. This means that you’ll have fewer problems when it comes to accomplishing easier tasks. This could drastically improve your quality of life.
Improves Social Life
The next reason why exercise is important is because of the effect it can have on your social life.
Quite simply, exercising is a communal activity that brings people together. It takes people away from their home environment, where it’s very easy for people to become entrenched in isolation, and helps them settle in a community.
As a result of this community, our residents are better settled, have deeper connections with their fellow residents, and have an overall higher quality of life. We’ve found this to be true for both clients dealing with the symptoms of dementia and those who aren’t. This makes regular exercise a great idea for all of our residents.
Improve Cognitive Function
The final benefit of regular exercise is the one which we believe to be the key reason why our residents should exercise regularly. Simply put, research has shown that regular exercise helps to fine-tune both motor skills and cognitive functions, as well as help with memory problems and memory loss.
Furthermore, countless research studies have shown that there is a lower risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease for people who are physically active regularly. This is true regardless of when you begin to exercise — regardless of whether you’re 6 or 76.
Get In Touch With Lovett Care Group Today
For any enquiries, contact the Lovett Care Group today. Our dedicated staff will be happy to answer any of your questions.