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The Mental Benefits of Regular Exercise

Physical benefits of exercise for seniors—a healthier body and heart, improved flexibility and increased muscle—are clear, but there are unequivocal mental benefits as well. Simple things like walking, swimming, gardening, yoga, dancing and even playing with grandchildren or pets are advantageous if done consistently. If your loved one has mobility concerns that prevent him or her from activity, consider Lancaster hourly care. With a little assistance, your senior loved one can reap the following mental benefits of physical exercise.

Increased Happiness

Exercise releases endorphins, a chemical in the brain that elevates mood, reduces feelings of depression, and decreases the body’s perception of pain.

Decreased Stress and Anxiety

Similarly, endorphins released while exercising help relax the body and mind. Working out also increases norepinephrine, which helps control the body’s reaction to stress. Additionally, the focus needed to exercise distracts from worries and helps quiet a busy mind.

Better Quality Sleep

Although it’s still unclear why, studies show regular, moderate workouts help seniors fall asleep more quickly and sleep more soundly.

Improved Self-Confidence

Exercise helps seniors feel physically strong, leading to increased feelings of confidence and self-reliance.

Mental Decline Prevention

Exercise can help prevent dementia, memory loss, and cognitive decline. Working out releases a protein that helps new cell growth in the brain. It also repairs and produces new neurons in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.

Encourage your senior parent or loved one to exercise regularly, but be sure to consult with his or her physician prior to starting a new fitness routine.

To learn more about senior health and wellness, call (717) 540-4663 to speak with a friendly Care Manager from Lancaster Home Care Assistance. We are available to take your call 24/7 and look forward to helping you find the right care to keep your loved one health, happy, and active.