8 Ways That Exercise Helps Alzheimer’s Disease

exercise for the brain

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurologic disorder that gradually shrinks the brain cells till they die completely. Also known as Senile Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is a deadly health complication that affects victims’ reasoning capacity, social skills, behaviors, and overall mental health in the long run. 

The World Health Organization claimed that over 50 million people currently live with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of Dementia around the world, while there are 10 million new cases annually. 

At the moment, there is no specific drug or medication to cure this deadly disease. However, numerous studies have shown that exercise is one of the few ways that the symptoms of Alzheimer’s can be reduced.

You may like to know how exercise can help Alzheimer’s disease. In the following, you’ll get to know the laudable effects and impacts of exercise on this disease. 

How does exercise manage and prevent Alzheimer’s?

Exercise plays a significant role in helping you manage or prevent Alzheimer’s disease in the following ways:

1. Exercise Naturally Boosts Reasoning Capacity And Overall Mental Health

It is believed that exercise reduces a decline in mental functionality as it increases Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). 

The BDNF stimulates the formation of new synapses, which will enhance the brain’s learning and reasoning capacity in the long run. 

Therefore, it is safe to say that exercise helps Alzheimer’s disease as it provides more BDNF that ensures enhanced intellectual capacity and reasoning prowess. 

2. Exercise Reduces Depression 

Depression is one of the health complications caused by Alzheimer’s disease, but it won’t give you a hard time if you engage in regular physical activities. 

This is because exercise facilitates the timely and fast production of neurotransmitters and hormones, including serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins, which are responsible for happy moods and emotions. 

With regular exercise, you are guaranteed to have a sufficient amount of these hormones, meaning you will be actively involved in social activities and be willing to make new friends. 

3. Exercise prevents wandering and Restlessness 

Wandering and restlessness are arguably the most challenging issues people with Alzheimer’s disease are prone to experience. 

Thankfully, exercise will help prevent such unhealthy conditions because expending energy during your daily workout or exercise reduces jittery and weathering to its barest minimum. 

As stated earlier, exercise increases endorphins and other feel-good hormones. It also regulates cortisol – the stress hormone — in the body. These two functions help the body relax and remain at ease most of the time. 

Considering the functions and effects, we can confidently say you have a high possibility of escaping chronic Alzheimer’s disease symptoms if you consistently visit the gym. 

Elderly men are exercising in the gym.

4. Exercise Prevents Hips Fraction And Imbalance

Imbalance, lack of coordination, and hip fracture are bound to occur in the body if Alzheimer’s disease isn’t discovered early or it is mismanaged over a lengthy period.

Regular balance exercises — including standing on one leg and raising the other leg sideways, placing your toe closely behind your heel — ensure high balance and coordination as they will strengthen your abs and core muscles. 

5. Exercise Prevents Cardiovascular Issues That Could Affect Cognitive Ability 

You may be wondering about the connection between cardiovascular issues and mental strength. Well, that’s because the body systems are connected. 

A poor cardiovascular state can reduce the blood supply to the brain; thereby creating a suitable atmosphere for Alzheimer’s disease to thrive in your body. 

Regular exercise guarantees a healthy and good cardiovascular system which will reduce Alzheimer’s disease and its impacts to the barest minimum. 

6. Exercise Solves Sleep Problems

Insomnia, also known as loss of sleep, can lead to impair cognition and poor memory regardless of Alzheimer’s disease status in the body. 

Unfortunately, the adverse effects of sleep deprivation will undoubtedly give room for the disease to cause more harm than normal. 

Routine exercise will eliminate every possible chance of complicating Alzheimer’s disease due to Insomnia as it guarantees quality and sound sleep. 

7. Exercise Reverses Cognitive Impairments 

Exercise is known for its ability to prevent or reduce the loss of cognitive functions in some cases. 

Aerobic exercise ensures adults with inferior or mild cognitive impairment can be healed completely. 

Though it is uncertain if exercise can help people with severe cognitive problems, studies have revealed that exercise can help solve mild cognitive impairments which could lead to chronic Alzheimer’s disease symptoms in the long run if not treated. 

8. Exercise Helps To Prevent Anxiety 

It is believed that older adults with anxiety have a 57% chance of developing different forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. 

Hence, you should engage in routine exercise to prevent the anxiety that could aggravate Alzheimer’s disease symptoms in the nearest future. 

Exercise improves the performance of the frontal cortex and medial temporal cortex which are parts of the brain that control thinking and memory.

Final Thought

Exercise is a good way to reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms and its underlying health complications for a while. 

However, it’s one thing to exercise the body; it’s another thing entirely to engage in moderate workout sessions for optimal efficiency. 

According to WHO, you shouldn’t go beyond 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise weekly if you are 60 and above. The global health institution also advised not to exceed 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise if you belong to the same age group. 

Younger people are given the green light to engage in different types of workout duration as long as their bodies can withstand it.  

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Alzheimer’s Disease Curable? 

As mentioned earlier, there is no specific cure for Alzheimer’s disease at the time of this publication. However, the good news is that you can manage it successfully. 

You can reduce Alzheimer’s disease and its damaging effects on your cognitive performance and overall well-being by ensuring regular exercise and a healthy diet.

What Medicines Can Help Alzheimer’s Disease? 

There is no medicine to cure Alzheimer’s disease. Nonetheless, some medicines have proven to have laudable impacts on its symptoms. 

These medicines include Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors like Donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine, and memantine. 

Is there a difference between Alzheimer’s and Dementia? 

There is only a slight difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

What is Dementia? It is a persistent mental disorder caused by brain disease or injury. Whilst Alzheimer’s disease is a form of Dementia, not all Dementia is Alzheimer’s.

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