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6 Positive Ways Exercising Can Bolster Cognitive Health

6 Positive Ways Exercising Can Bolster Cognitive Health

An active senior couple stretches outside one of the memory care communities in Lincoln

For those looking to bolster their cognitive health, there are many ways to do so. While board games and crossword puzzles are likely the first things to come to mind, participating in routine exercise should not be overlooked! Making the time to exercise can do wonders for your body, such as improving your cardiovascular health and providing essential strength training. However, did you know there are also a plethora of benefits for your brain?

As one of the best memory care communities in Lincoln, we understand the profound impact that exercise can have on cognitive health, especially for those living with dementia. That is why we make it a priority to ensure that our residents have access to a thriving activity calendar as well as a noteworthy life enrichment program. Join us as we explore compelling reasons why exercise is a crucial pillar in enhancing cognitive well-being.

1. Enhanced Memory

First of all, regular exercise stimulates the brain, promoting the formation of new neural connections and enhancing memory functions. For residents in memory care communities, preserving memory is of utmost importance, and exercise plays a vital role in achieving this. Losing precious memories of the past or struggling with short term memory can be heartbreaking, and routine exercise could be helpful in preventing this from happening. 

2. Improved Mood

For those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, a common behavior includes mood swings and bouts of irritability. Thankfully, however, exercise triggers the release of endorphins, those “feel-good” chemicals that can have a profound impact on residents’ emotional well-being. Reduced stress and a positive mood are vital for those living with dementia.

3. Enhanced Concentration

Are you worried about losing focus and struggling with attention to detail? Maintaining focus is a valuable skill, especially during various activities in our community. Exercise helps residents sustain concentration, which can lead to more meaningful engagement.

4. Reduced Risk of Cognitive Decline

One of the most significant advantages of regular exercise is its ability to substantially reduce the risk of cognitive decline, particularly in individuals living with dementia or those seeking to prevent it. This benefit is rooted in several key mechanisms:


Exercise stimulates neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganize and adapt by forming new neural connections. This process is essential for learning and memory and can help offset the loss of cognitive function associated with dementia.

Neurotransmitter Production: 

Exercise triggers the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, which play crucial roles in mood regulation and cognitive function. These chemicals enhance mood and cognitive abilities, reducing the risk of depression and cognitive decline.

Reduced Inflammation: 

Chronic inflammation is linked to various cognitive disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. Regular exercise has anti-inflammatory effects, helping to mitigate neuroinflammation and protect cognitive health.

5. Better Sleep

For individuals living in memory care communities in Lincoln, quality sleep is crucial for maintaining cognitive health and overall well-being. Engaging in daily exercise contributes significantly to better sleep for several reasons:

Regulating Circadian Rhythms:

Exercise helps regulate the body’s internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm. This regulation aligns with natural day-night cycles, making it easier for residents to fall asleep at night and wake up refreshed in the morning.

Physical Fatigue: 

Engaging in exercise during the day helps residents expend physical energy. As a result, they are more physically tired by bedtime, which can lead to faster sleep onset and deeper, more restorative sleep.

Improved Sleep Patterns: 

Daily exercise can help establish consistent sleep patterns. Residents who engage in regular physical activity are more likely to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, further promoting quality sleep.

Reduction in Sleep Disorders: 

Exercise is associated with a decreased risk of sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Residents who exercise regularly are less likely to experience disruptions in their sleep patterns.

6. Social Interaction

Exercise programs like those featured at our memory care communities in Lincoln play a pivotal role in encouraging social interaction among residents in memory care communities. This social engagement contributes significantly to their cognitive health in several ways:

Community and Belonging: 

Group exercise sessions provide residents with a sense of community and belonging. They become part of a supportive and inclusive group, which can combat feelings of isolation often associated with dementia.

Increased Engagement: 

Social exercise activities create opportunities for residents to engage with one another during workouts. Whether it’s striking up a conversation while walking or collaborating in a group yoga session, residents actively interact with peers.

Emotional Support:

Social interaction during exercise fosters emotional support networks. Residents share experiences, offer encouragement, and provide comfort to one another, which can reduce stress and anxiety levels.

Three senior women participate in a group yoga class

Safe Exercises for Seniors to Try

Now that you know a little bit about why exercise is so important for brain health, it’s time to learn a few exercises you can try! Residents of the best memory care communities in Lincoln frequently enjoy activities such as:

Walking (Indoors or Outdoors):

Walking helps maintain cardiovascular health and is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors while staying active.

Tai Chi:

Tai chi combines gentle movements and deep breathing, promoting relaxation, balance, and mental clarity.

Yoga/Chair Yoga:

Yoga helps relieve stress, enhances flexibility, and centers the mind, making it an ideal practice for improving cognitive health.

Swimming/Water Aerobics:

Swimming provides low-impact cardiovascular exercise, enhancing physical fitness while being gentle on joints, and water aerobics promotes overall strength and flexibility.

Our “Mornings in Motion” program incorporates these exercises into our residents’ daily routines, ensuring that they experience the cognitive benefits firsthand. By focusing on the mind-body connection, we create a holistic approach to cognitive well-being that goes beyond traditional care.

CountryHouse’s Life Enrichment Program

Our Seasons program offers year-round life enrichment activities. In addition to regular exercise and social hours, we plan special activities inspired by the season, holidays, and local events. These activities maximize wellness, strengthen connections, encourage engagement, and foster personal growth. We also provide individual pursuits for those who prefer them.

Offsite Adventures

Dementia doesn’t hold us back from amazing experiences. Our residents enjoy offsite adventures like boating, attending sporting events, concerts, visiting restaurants, farms, museums, historical sites, water parks, and more.

Tour Our Memory Care Communities in Lincoln

Discover why CountryHouse is an excellent choice for memory care. Contact us today to learn more about our community, activities, and services. We invite you to schedule a tour and see how we promote joyful living and cognitive health in those living with dementia. Your journey to a brighter future starts here at CountryHouse.

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