The proportion of Australians over the age of 65 is projected to more than double over the next few decades. While it is good news that people are living longer lives, many of these extra years are spent in ill health or disability including cognitive health issues. As such, it is increasingly important to look into the cognitive changes that accompany ageing in seniors.
Although we develop many thinking abilities that appear to peak around age 30, some abilities decline with age for several factors. Overall, dementia and mild cognitive impairment are both common, but even those who do not experience these conditions may experience other subtle cognitive changes associated with ageing such as general slowness of thinking and problems sustaining attention, multitasking, remembering information, and finding words.
If you’re going through cognitive issues, it may impact various areas of your life including performing daily tasks, relationships, and in fact, the overall quality of your life. The good news is that cognitive health can be massively improved through physical exercise. In this blog post, we will take a deeper dive into the importance of cognitive health and the benefits of gentle exercise for cognitive health in seniors.
The importance of cognitive health in seniors
Cognitive health is the key to how well you think, learn, and remember. Maintaining cognitive health is crucial for seniors as it directly impacts their independence, safety, social engagement, mental well-being, and ability to adapt to changes.
Also, good cognitive health allows you to perform daily activities independently, promotes safety, facilitates social interactions, supports emotional well-being, enables lifelong learning, aids in adapting to new situations, reduces the risk of cognitive decline, and supports overall health. Hence, there’s no doubt you should prioritise your cognitive health. Prioritising cognitive health involves engaging in mentally stimulating activities like regular exercise, adopting a healthy lifestyle, managing chronic conditions effectively, and seeking regular medical check-ups.
The benefits of slow exercise for seniors’ cognitive health
Physical exercise promotes so many benefits that support cognitive health. However, no matter how strong you feel, your body is simply not the super-engine it used to be in your youth. This is why you need to integrate slow exercise into your routine, and you’ll still get all the same benefits of regular exercise. Here are some benefits of slow exercise for cognitive health in seniors:
Engaging in slow exercises, such as gentle walks or yoga, can help reduce stress levels in seniors. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting hormones that promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. By reducing stress, you can experience improved cognitive function and better overall well-being.
Slow exercise has been found to enhance neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to form new connections and reorganise itself. This can improve cognitive abilities such as learning, memory, and problem-solving.
Improved blood flow to the brain
Regular slow exercise increases blood flow to the brain, delivering oxygen and essential nutrients. This improved blood flow nourishes brain cells and supports their optimal function, promoting cognitive health.
Reduction in the risk of cognitive decline
Engaging in slow exercise has been associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases. Studies suggest that regular physical activity can help protect against conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, potentially slowing down the progression of cognitive decline.
Boosted mood and well-being
Slow exercise releases endorphins, which can improve mood and overall well-being in seniors. Regular physical activity has been linked to a lower risk of depression and anxiety, both of which can negatively impact cognitive function.
Increased attention and concentration
Slow exercise can improve attention and concentration in seniors. By engaging in activities that require focus and coordination, such as Tai Chi or Pilates, seniors can enhance their cognitive abilities and maintain mental sharpness.
Enhanced sleep quality
Regular slow exercise can improve sleep quality in seniors. Quality sleep is crucial for cognitive function, as it allows the brain to consolidate memories, process information, and restore energy. By promoting better sleep, slow exercise indirectly supports cognitive health.
Many slow exercise activities, such as group fitness classes or walking clubs, provide opportunities for social engagement. Social interaction has been linked to better cognitive health and a reduced risk of cognitive decline. Seniors who participate in exercise with others can enjoy the benefits of both physical activity and social connections.
How Easy Exercising can help with cognitive health (through gentle exercise) for seniors
Now, you know the benefits of gentle exercise for cognitive health in seniors, it is important to look at where and how to come across these gentle exercises that are beneficial for your cognitive health.
Here at Easy Exercising, our focus is helping you to age gracefully — and have a lot of fun in the process— through our power-assisted equipment. Our power-assisted exercise machines have been meticulously developed and tested over the years by industry leaders and they’re the obvious choice for anyone to enhance their cognitive health without breaking a sweat. Our machines use resistance and weight to help you perform exercises without having to use as much physical effort. They do all the work so all you need to do is sit back and relax. This can make working out easier and less strenuous for you.
Also, we have physical trainers and professionals who help seniors with each physical activity to ensure you’re on the right track. Plus, we have a pretty tight-knit community of friendly faces that make the whole process seamless. Just sit down, let the machines do the work, and have a chat with the Easy Exercising family!
Now you know the huge role power-assisted exercises can play for your cognitive health and how you can get the best out of an inclusive community from Easy Exercising. So, what’s next for you?
Come on and check if our power-assisted machines are the best fit for you and get a FREE trial while doing so.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Q: What types of slow exercises are suitable for seniors?
A: There are several types of slow exercises that are suitable for seniors. Some of them include Tai Chi, yoga, Pilates, water exercises, walking, chair exercises, and stretching/flexibility exercises, but Easy Exercising is a great way to receive benefits of multiple exercises, all in one easy place.
Q: Can slow exercise routines help in managing age-related cognitive decline?
A: Yes, slow exercise routines can be beneficial in managing cognitive decline. Regular physical activity has been linked to various cognitive benefits, including improved memory, attention, and executive function in seniors. These exercises increase blood flow to the brain, promote neuroplasticity, reduce stress, enhance mood, and provide opportunities for social interaction which are all factors that promote cognitive health.
Q: How long does it take to see the cognitive benefits of gentle exercise?
A: The cognitive benefits of gentle exercise can vary from person to person. Some individuals may notice improvements relatively quickly, while others may take longer. Consistency is key, and regular exercise over an extended period is more likely to yield positive cognitive outcomes.