Most people know that physical exercise benefits one’s physical health. Still, few people realize that it is also essential to maintaining excellent mental health. Unfortunately, some seniors might not have the motivation to engage in consistent physical activity to improve their mental health. Thankfully, in-home care aids can help seniors with this.
Understanding How Exercise Affects Mental Health
There are many ways that exercise affects mental health. A few of the most common are discussed below.
- Decreased tension and stress: Physical exercise can reduce feelings of tension and worry. This is among the most significant advantages that it offers to mental health. It all has to do with endorphins. Endorphins, released during exercise, are naturally occurring substances in the body that can aid in the reduction of tension and anxiety. Endorphins also help increase blood flow to the brain, improving cognitive performance and reducing symptoms of depression. With all the changes that seniors are faced with, knowing that exercise can help reduce their stress is key.
- Physical exercise improves moods: The power of physical exercise to lift one’s mood is another significant benefit vital for mental health. Research shows that physical activity increases the production of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Both of these chemicals play a role in the regulation of mood. This is extremely important for seniors who might be struggling with emotions and mood swings due to the changes they are experiencing.
- Improved sleep: Besides helping to alleviate stress, worry, and depression, regular physical activity has been shown to contribute to better quality sleep. Sleep is made simpler when seniors engage in regular exercise since it helps to regulate the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and makes it easier to fall asleep. This is wonderful news, as many seniors have natural age-related shifts in their sleep patterns that cause issues.
- Improved socialization: Lastly, one of the most prevalent and complex issues affecting seniors is loneliness. Finding opportunities to socialize is crucial because many older individuals don’t receive enough. Exercise may be a fantastic way to make new friends, spend time with old ones, and improve both your physical and emotional health.
Gyms frequently offer senior-specific classes, which can be a great way to meet new people. Unfortunately, attending a class might be too difficult for seniors with mobility issues. In-home care providers can assist with alternatives when this is the case. Even if seniors choose not to enroll in a group exercise class, they could hike or stroll with a loved one or their in-home care aid.
Engaging in regular physical activity can aid in improving cognitive function while also lowering the risk of cognitive decline in seniors. As noted above, regular physical activity reduces stress levels, improves moods, increases sleep quality, and increases socialization. These advantages underscore the need to engage in regular physical activity as often as possible.
Loved ones can discuss physical activity plans with the in-home care team to ensure that seniors participate in consistent physical activity to maximize the benefits.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering In-Home Care in Raleigh, NC please contact the caring staff at Affordable Family Care. Serving Raleigh, Greensboro, and the surrounding areas in North Carolina. Call today 919-676-1070.
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