Exercises for Seniors to Keep Their Brain Healthy
Cognitive function is one of the highest priorities that we can focus on throughout our lives. Promoting senior brain health has so many benefits. In fact, performing regular mental exercises can do everything from reducing the risk of ailments like Alzheimer’s and dementia to improving the quality of daily life.
Even more uplifting news is the reality that many of these beneficial activities are natural, fun, and enjoyable things that we do in our daily lives. Maintaining you senior loved one’s health is important and entrusting qualified senior caregivers, who are trained experts in exercises that preserve cognitive function could be one of the best things you do for your elderly loved one.
Laughter Is the Best Medicine
There is significant evidence that laughter does, in fact, promote better health. So keep reeling off those one-liners and “knock knock” jokes, and partaking in your favourite comedians and sitcoms—it’s good for you!
Physical Health Benefits of Laughter
The physical benefits of regular laughter have been studied and known for some time. The relaxation it provides the body keeps muscles loose for up to 45 minutes after. Furthermore, it can also help improve your cardiovascular system, which will lessen the chance of associated problems like heart attacks or strokes from occurring.
When you laugh, the immune system gets a boost as it reduces stress hormones. It also increases the presence of antibodies and immune cells, which increases your resilience against diseases. If you are suffering from or are at risk of developing diabetes, you’ll be happy to learn that laughter reduces blood sugar levels and increases glucose tolerance.
Interestingly, a 15-year study done in Norway that was released in 2016 through Psychosomatic Medicine found that mortality rates were lower for those with a sense of humour.
Mental Health Benefits of Laughter
Generally, the most significant benefit of a good laugh is the mood-improving nature of humour. No matter what difficult situation or setback you are facing, a good joke can lighten the mood and redirect your focus towards the positive.
Laughter releases endorphins, which is a natural way to feel good. When you walk around with less anxiety, tension, and stress, your good mood can be rapidly contagious. The social benefits of laughter also deserve mention—everyone loves a comedian.
Learn to Play a Musical Instrument
It is never too late to start learning how to play an instrument. Taking up the piano, guitar, or improving one’s vocal chords can give levity and focus to each brand new day. More importantly, in regards to cognitive function, by attempting new and challenging tasks, the aging mind benefits greatly.
The opportunity to perform, formally or informally, is also an exciting prospect that one can look forward to, as well as greater active engagement and appreciation when enjoying music itself.
Learn a New Sport
Physical activity improves the cardiovascular system, which in turn, promotes brain health. This is why it is always a great idea for seniors to learn a new sport. There are commonly known favourites like running, swimming, dancing, tennis, lawn bowling, and curling.
Several prominent seniors have also led the way for participation into other activities such as Sister Madonna Buder, 87 (Triathlons); Jacinto Bonilla 78, (crossfit); Paul Tetrick, 86 (cycling); Louis Self, 74 (kiteboarding); Steve Rounds, 87 (rowing); Yuichiro Miura, 84 (mountaineering); and Arthur Webb, 74 (ultramarathons).
Special divisions and leagues allow seniors to compete in even the most demanding of sports, like the “Master 7” division of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions exclusively for those over the age of 60 or even the 75 to 79 and 80 to 84 age groups in Ironman Triathlons.
By challenging yourself with different methods such as games, puzzles, or word pictures, you will continually expand your brains ability to learn new things. This is also known as neuroplasticity. These activities are fun, and can be a great way to spend time while keeping oneself engaged.
You might already play games like Sudoku or crossword puzzles that force your brain to learn new word definitions or associations. This helps you continually use, maintain, and improve both your cognitive functions, and perhaps even your vocabulary.
Because the brain works through the power of association, using “word pictures” can help with both cognitive functions and memory recall. This is where you spell out a word in your head and then find other words that begin or end with the same two letters.
Focus on the Positive
Daily gratitude for the good things that already exist in our lives is a method for attracting more positive energy in our lives. Think about the people you know who carry negative emotions like anger, resentment, or despair. Frequent outbursts of negativity tend to magnetize people away from those individuals.
Fortunately, the opposite is true: By seeing the good in the world around you, others will also reflect back that positive energy.
Enlist the Experts
Life can get pretty busy, and you might feel guilty for never spending enough time helping your elderly loved ones with cognitive exercises or other tasks. Truth be told, no one acting by themselves ever has enough resources in order to effectively address all of a senior’s needs. That’s why getting help from a home care assistance company can be hugely beneficial to both you and your loved ones.
At Home Care Assistance – Toronto/York Region, we provide the very best in outlets and activities to keep seniors’ minds stimulated and engaged. By providing companionship, care, and comfort, we ensure that your loved ones will continue to remain lucid for as long as possible. Our staff is trained in our Balanced Care Method which means you’re placing your loved ones in the best care possible. We offer a variety of services to free you from worry and help your loved ones maintain their physical and mental vibrancy. Contact us today for more information about how we utilize the Balanced Care Method throughout our home care services in Toronto.
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