senior brain health

Understanding the Connection Between Exercise and Brain Health for Seniors

As we age, it’s natural to experience some decline in various aspects of our health, including cognitive function. That said, research has shown that regular exercise can help protect and improve brain health, especially in seniors. In this blog post, we’ll explore the link between exercise and senior brain health, as well as highlight some exercise opportunities to try.

Senior Brain Health and Exercise

Regular exercise has numerous benefits for seniors, including improved cardiovascular health, reduced risk of falls, and increased overall mobility and strength. But did you know that it can also help preserve cognitive function and even slow the progression of cognitive decline? Research has shown that physical exercise can promote the growth of new brain cells, increase nerve connections, and improve blood flow and oxygenation of the brain – all of which can boost cognitive performance and reduce the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia in seniors. But what types of exercise are most effective at promoting brain health in seniors? 

Exercises to Help Support Brain Health

While any type of physical activity is better than none, some studies suggest that aerobic exercise – such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming – may have particular benefits for cognitive function. For example, a 2022 study published in the journal Neurology found that older adults who engaged in regular aerobic exercise had higher cognitive scores and lower levels of brain shrinkage compared to those who did not exercise regularly.

Resistance or strength training exercises, such as weightlifting, may also have benefits for seniors’ brain health. Some studies have suggested that resistance training can improve cognitive performance and reduce the risk of cognitive decline, possibly by promoting the growth of new brain cells or enhancing neural connections.

How Much Exercise Do Seniors Need to Reap the Benefits?

While the exact recommendations may vary depending on individual health status and fitness level, most experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week for seniors. This can be achieved through 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week, such as brisk walking or other aerobic activities. Seniors should also incorporate strength training exercises at least two days per week, targeting major muscle groups such as the legs, arms, and core.

At Cumberland Crossing by OceanView, seniors have access to a wide range of exercise opportunities to promote brain health and overall wellness. From group fitness classes like yoga and water aerobics to individual training sessions with certified fitness professionals, residents can customize their exercise routines to meet their unique needs and preferences. Our scenic campus offers numerous opportunities for outdoor physical activity, such as walking trails and a beautiful, heated saltwater pool.

We also offer residents access to our Golf FORE Life Program, which provides complimentary entry to two lovely local golf courses: Highland Green in Topsham and Valhalla Municipal Golf Course, which is right next door. This means you can golf anytime you’d like, improving your health and boosting your game!

Cumberland Crossing by OceanView

Regular exercise can do wonders for seniors’ brain health, helping to preserve cognitive function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. But exercise isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution – seniors should strive to find physical activities that they enjoy and feel comfortable doing, while also challenging themselves to push their limits and improve their overall fitness. 

Cumberland Crossing by OceanView is an active senior living community located in beautiful southern Maine. We offer two spacious, customizable cottage floor plans to choose from with a manageable monthly fee consisting of many services, including access to a variety of exercise opportunities designed to promote brain health and overall wellness. Our goal is to make it easier than ever to prioritize physical activity as a crucial component of a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle!

Leave the burden of homeownership behind and enjoy peace of mind for your future! Contact us at Cumberland Crossing today to schedule a tour.