We all know the age-old adage that exercise is good for you. Going on long walks or runs, lifting weights, and even just being generally active throughout the day can improve overall well-being, physical and mental health, and even long-term prognosis for some health issues. However a common obstacle for many people, especially elders, in beginning an exercise routine is the dread of a long and tedious workout. But it doesn’t have to be long and tedious to have a positive effect!
A recently completed study in Bonn, Germany analyzed activity levels and compared them MRI brain scans of over 2000 participants. What they found was a major difference in overall brain health and brain matter volume between those participants who were active and those who were not. But even more interesting, the study also found that as little activity as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking for 15 minutes still had a substantial affect on overall brain health. In addition, this effect was even more substantial for those older than 70 years old.
Although it can be difficult for elders to establish an exercise routine or change daily habits to be more active, it doesn’t have to be as daunting as training for a marathon or trying to improve your bench press. Something as simple as walking to get the mail or going outside to water the garden can provide enough activity to get that extra brain health benefit. Elders and older adults who maintain a reasonably active lifestyle are less susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases and age-related brain issues.
For many people with elder relatives or friends who they are looking out for, it can be difficult to make sure that they are getting enough exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. One of the great benefits of having a Geriatric Care Manager is the comprehensive involvement in the health needs of their clients. That includes exercise and activity levels. Care Managers can check in with elders, take them on walks, gently encourage active hobbies, and even make sure that their day-to-day routine is filled with enough movement and activity.
If you or a loved one are interested in working with a Geriatric Care Management Company, please don’t hesitate to call Senior Steps for a free consultation!