The benefits of exercise help with overall health. Since some diseases are associated with higher risk factors for Alzheimer’s, it is wise to take care of yourself. In most cases exercise manages all body systems.
Here is what exercise will do for you:
- Your weight can be controlled by exercise. Obesity carries a risk for metabolic syndrome which might predispose you to Alzheimer’s. Exercise improves your sense of empowerment and promotes healthy eating which will help with cholesterol. Exercise is a three-legged stool of cardio, strength training and stretching. Alternating workouts from intense to lighter along with quality stretching will help your muscles grow. For example, if you lift weights on Monday, don’t lift weights for the same body parts until Wednesday. You can do a cardio workout on Tuesday followed by yoga. Muscles need to recover in order to benefit your activities of daily living.
- Your stress hormones will be reduced. Activity alleviates anxiety. Inflammatory hormones lodge longest in the brain which affects memory.
- Your insulin levels will improve. In many cases Type 2 Diabetes will be prevented or managed without medication. Diabetes has been associated with Alzheimer’s.
- You will be creating new neurons in the brain and enhancing synaptic connections. This is called, neuro-plasticity. Changing up your workout wakes up your brain.
- Your immune system will improve. Autoimmune disorders are associated with inflammation. Inflammation is associated with cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s.
Since Alzheimer’s disease process begins decades before it manifests, exercising throughout life can if not prevent it, at least postpone the disease or keep it in more manageable stages. You will have a healthier set point and a much better life quality.
Turn stress into strength!
For more information on caregiving read my book, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show