Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability. It is caused by damage to certain brain cells or nerve injury. Dementia affects people of all ages, but the risk virtually increases with age. About 1 in 10 people over 65 have dementia – and the number more than doubles for people over 85 years of age. Apparently, certain low-impact activities can help lower your risk of dementia as you grow older.
What Exactly Is Dementia?
Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, which cause a long-term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember. A person with dementia may have trouble remembering recent events, events from their past, or the names of people and objects. They may also have trouble with language, become confused about time and place, and have mood changes.
A person’s cognitive and problem-solving skills are generally altered when suffering from dementia. And in some cases, people with dementia often need help with daily activities such as eating, dressing, and bathing.
Ways to Reduce the Risk of Dementia
While aging is one of the risk factors of dementia, it’s unfortunate that there’s nothing much you can do to reverse or stop it. However, there are various things you can do to keep your mental and overall health in top shape and keep dementia at bay.
Some of these include sticking to a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and abstaining from unhealthy habits such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption. A number of scientific studies indicate that regular physical exercise may potentially reduce the risk of dementia.
Aging undeniably comes with a ton load of risk factors to one’s overall health, some of which may cause changes to the brain. By exercising regularly, it’s easy to keep fit, improve cardiovascular wellness, and improve our brain’s supply of oxygen. DNP and NP-C from neuraleffects.com, Thomas J. Tervort actually highlights various types of exercises as part of therapy for dementia patients.
Physical activities like brisk walking, cycling, dancing, swimming, and practicing yoga can go a long way in protecting your brain from dementia. At a time when your muscles are growing feeble, low-impact sports can be a great way to make physical activity a routine while also benefiting from the excitement!
Sports That May Lower Risk of Dementia
There are various low-impact sports that seniors can participate in to help lower their risks of suffering from dementia, including:
Pickleball combines tennis, badminton, and ping pong and can be played both indoors and outdoors. It is a social sport, providing an opportunity for seniors to engage with others, promoting socialization, and reducing the risk of isolation, another factor associated with the development of dementia. Several online resources are available out there, including Pickleball Union, if you want to learn more about this trending sport.
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for seniors. Besides helping to improve cardiovascular health and increasing muscle strength, this low-impact activity has been shown to help enhance cognitive function, memory, mood, and immune response.
Seniors who participate in swimming as a competitive sport can benefit from the brain-boosting effects that are being studied by scientists.
Have you ever wondered why the elderly love golf? Golf is a game of precision. It challenges your brain while engaging various parts of the body as well. Besides improving cardiovascular health and increasing muscle strength, golf can go a long way in boosting one’s brain power, significantly reducing the risk of dementia.
Bowling is a fun activity that can help to improve hand-eye coordination. The low-impact sport also provides social interaction while stimulating the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain. This, and the fact that it gets the blood flowing, makes bowling an excellent sport of choice for seniors who want to improve mental function and reduce their risk of dementia.
Participating in any of these low-impact sports can help to improve overall health and well-being. It may also help to reduce the risk of developing dementia for seniors.
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