It’s well known that exercise benefits the physical body, but the effects of exercise on brain health is often not well understood. However, as we age it’s particularly important to build resilience in brain function and exercise is one of the best ways to do it.
Nearly 10% of Canadians over age 65 suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Dementia is a syndrome characterized by the progressive deterioration of cognitive function beyond that seen in normal aging. Of the various causes of dementia, Alzheimer’s is the most common. It is a neurologic disease of the brain leading to the irreversible loss of neurons supporting memory function and other cognitive abilities. Recently, non-pharmacological approaches have been studied as a strategy to improve brain plasticity, function, and resistance to neurodegenerative diseases. The results are in and the science is clear. Simply stated, regular exercise promotes brain health.
What does this mean for you?
Regular exercise has an offsetting effect on brain aging and creates resilience to neurodegenerative processes. This is important because:
1. In healthy people, exercise in midlife is effective at preventing cognitive decline and reducing the risk of dementia in later years.
2. In people with dementia, exercise is effective at slowing the rate of progression and helping maintain the ability to perform activities of daily living.
What kind of exercise should you do?
All types of exercise are beneficial. Walking, swimming, biking, dancing, or any other activity you enjoy and know you can commit to are good options. At minimum, complete a moderate intensity exercise regime at least three times per week. Studies have shown that the beneficial effects of exercise increase when a variety of activities are performed – the most important thing is that you exercise regularly and stick with it.
How can we help you?
The Copeman Healthcare Brain Fitness program was developed for two reasons:
1. to optimize brain health in people aged 55+ that are in good general health, and
2. to help improve and maintain function in people with age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Brain Fitness is based on current scientific evidence to help optimize brain health and combines physical work-outs with cognitive training. The specialized program is available at Copeman Healthcare Calgary. If you’re interested in learning more about this exciting program please contact Lorie Johnsen at the Calgary Centre at 403-718- 9191 or via email at email@example.com.