The importance of physical activity to prevent dementia

by | Nov 10, 2023 | Caregiving, Wellness & Health

Dementia is one of the biggest concerns in the world in the field of quality of life in old age. Not only does it have devastating consequences for the physical and mental health of those affected by it, the disease also affects the quality of life of those around the patients. Family members become caregivers, which changes their routine forever. In our age characterized by the rapid development of technology and innovation, scientists struggle day after day to find new ways that could be effective in delaying or preventing dementia in adults; Among the various ways, regular exercise to prevent dementia appears to be the most promising way.

As many studies have shown, maintaining a routine of physical activity starting from a young age, significantly reduces the cases of dementia by about 30% on average. For you and your parents, this is a 30% greater chance of living a long and healthy life, without a disease that casts a shadow over our lives.

In order to show the importance of exercise in preventing dementia among the elderly, we must first ask ourselves the big question.

What is dementia?

If we try to strip things down, dementia is a persistent mental imbalance resulting from a problem in the brain. This causes patients to suffer memory loss, personality changes and impaired judgment.

This can manifest itself in forgetting the day-to-day activities. Activities such as eating meals and wearing clothes. Simple calls or answering questions, as well as more complex actions such as turning off the gas and locking the doors.

The personality can change, a feeling of helplessness and a reduction in dignity can occur, along with thousands of other complications as well.

Physical activity to prevent dementia

In studies that examined the effect of various factors on dementia, exercise and physical activity were found to be highly effective means of preventing dementia.

Although the direct link between physical activity and the prevention of dementia has not been proven, the benefits of physical activity in reducing the risk factors for dementia are not in doubt.

החשיבות של פעילות גופנית למניעת דמנציה
The importance of physical activity to prevent dementia.

Problems such as blood pressure, diabetes and overweight are directly related to increasing the risk of the disease. Regular physical activity, such as 10 minutes of cardio can prevent all three problems, as well as prevent dementia.

Several studies have also found that regular high-level physical activity slows down the rate of brain tissue loss during the aging process. In any case, devoting a few minutes a day to physical activity is not a bad thing at all and has many benefits.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), participating in 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, for people aged 65 and over, can actively ward off dementia.

Recommendations on physical activity to prevent dementia

Aerobic activity basically means cardiopulmonary endurance, such as running, riding, walking, dancing and swimming; You get the idea. Even a 10-30 minute walk in the park every day is considered recommended aerobic activity. Undoubtedly, this has a decisive effect on maintaining fitness and health and warding off dementia. Training programs for the elderly exist today in gyms and swimming centers all over the world. Swimming is an excellent means of maintaining fitness. This is because it easily helps burn calories and at the same time does not cause an excessive load on the body.

The benefits of swimming..

Swimming suitable for the elderly can be a fun activity and also a good way to ward off disease. Aerobic exercise is also a great way to stimulate blood flow to the brain.

Resistance Training-

Aerobic activity is not the only way that adults can prevent and slow down the progress of dementia. Resistance training (also known as weight training) can help achieve stronger muscles, more flexible ligaments and increased bone density.

Exercises include lifting weights, squeezing rubber balls, yoga and tai chi. They can help strengthen the muscles of the spine and the hypothalamus (lower brain area). This can greatly contribute to muscular coordination and balance.

Furthermore, physical activity such as yoga and tai chi can contribute to the flexibility of the body and maintaining a fresh and renewed mind.

Biodance and Dance-

Biodance according to Wikipedia combines three worlds – the music, the movement and the group. Biodance, which is the dance of life, enables experiences of deep feeling and perception of life. The movement and dancing in the group make it possible to engage in enjoyable physical activity in a group for people who are unable to persist in the activities described earlier.

Physical activity for dementia patients

Physical activity plays an important role both in preventing and during the course of dealing with dementia. Even after dementia has been diagnosed, it is important for the patient to have a daily activity schedule that includes exercises that increase brain activity as much as possible.

Exercising during dementia gives patients something they can do on their own and this strengthens their self-worth. It also gives them a channel to channel their energies into and prevent other accidents.

Regular physical activity is something that should be incorporated into the lifestyle of every adult and should be started as early as possible.

Exercise can prevent many health problems. It can keep the mind feeling young and happy. So get your doctor’s approval and start exercising!