5 Ways Yoga Can Help Dementia Suffers

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Dementia is the term used to describe memory loss conditions including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. There is no cure for the conditions, and watching someone go through the process is painful and stressful for all involved. The best way to cope with dementia is to find ways to manage symptoms and take steps before old age sweeps through to reduce the chances of getting it, and there have been many studies showing how yoga can help dementia sufferers. 

Keeping Yourself Active and Social

Experts know that keeping active and socially engaged is one of the most effective ways of managing dementia, which is why St. Louis memory care facilities have built daily and weekly schedules around it. As well as strengthening the mind, regular exercise has been proven to tackle weight gain and depression. 

On top of all the physical benefits yoga has, it also presents the perfect opportunity to socialize, whether it’s attending a session at a care home, attending a local gym, or even hopping on a Zoom class. When a person socializes, it focuses the mind on the here and now, which supports emotional stability. 

Helps to Manage High Blood Pressure

There have been many long-term research studies into the relationship between high blood pressure during mid-life and dementia arriving later. Therefore, thanks to the way yoga promotes breathing and meditation and helps to reduce stress, it’s safe to say that squeezing in a few sessions a week can make all the difference. 

Encourages Healthier Sleep Cycles

There have been several studies proving the link between broken sleep cycles in midlife and the onset of dementia in old age. In particular, insufficient sleep reduces cognition and causes too many beta-amyloid proteins to flood the brain. The presence of these proteins in unhealthy quantities has been shown to cause amyloid plaques, which are typically found in those with Alzheimer‘s. 

By regularly engaging in yoga, it’s been shown through extensive research that a more healthy sleep cycle will emerge, which will help to tackle all of the above issues. 

Reduces Anxiety and Stress

Stress occurs when the body experiences high cortisol levels, but the impact can be much more dangerous than feeling overwhelmed. When the brain is flushed with cortisol for extended periods of time, it can actually break down a number of vital brain structures including the hippocampus, which is responsible for cognition and memory. Therefore, by engaging in yoga and meditation to reduce stress, the effects of yoga can be alleviated. 

Keeps the Brain Engaged

Engaging the brain through stimulating activities like playing games, reading, and solving problems has been found to keep dementia at bay; regular yoga can have the same effect. The brain’s neuroplasticity and neural connections can improve by learning new breathing techniques and postures. 

Yoga isn’t a cure for dementia or by no means a guarantee that it will stay away, but there’s been sufficient research to demonstrate how yoga can be of help to dementia sufferers, which is why we recommend fitting in at least three classes a week. 

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