Experts say right exercise can boost brain and body

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By the staff of Belmont Village Hollywood Hills

Just as we build muscle strength to keep our bodies fit, studies show that we need to build cognitive reserve to help our brains ward off memory problems and keep our minds active.

Research indicates that mental fitness activities, along with a healthy diet and an exercise regimen that includes a combination of aerobic and strength training, can help to build new neuro-connections in the brain and improve cell function. It is this cognitive reserve that aging adults can draw on to maintain brain function.

“Several years ago we began developing programs that could engage brain and body in ways that are both fun and therapeutic,” said Beverly Sanborn, LCSW, gerontologist for Belmont Village Senior Living. “We continue to evaluate and enhance, and we’ve seen measurable differences for our residents and their quality of life.”

Changes in the brain can start decades before symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease begin to show.  Simultaneously engaging mind, memory and body movement on a regular basis could mean delaying the onset of memory loss for people in their 50s and 60s. For people in their 70s and 80s, who may already be experiencing some memory loss, a carefully planned and structured day of activities may slow the progression and help maintain function and quality of life.

“A lot goes into a successful program, but most important are to make sure that you’re learning something new and that you’re challenging yourself mentally. We create those opportunities daily for our residents,” said Sanborn.

Belmont Village Hollywood Hills is a leading provider of assisted living and award-winning memory care. For more information call (323) 874-7711 or visit BelmontVillage.com.

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