Why People With Dementia Need Fitness

Reduce the Effects of Dementia

Worldwide, roughly 50 million people have dementia. 60-70% of cases are Alzheimer’s disease. Every year another 9.9 million cases are added to this total worldwide. With such staggering numbers, finding a cure or treatment has become paramount for researchers.

Each year more and more information is being released about how dementia affects seniors, what can be done to prevent it or treat it, and information on potential cures. With such a large body of research being done on the subject, there are seemingly endless ways to combat current cases of dementia.

One of the most recent studies has concluded that exercise can help reduce the effects of dementia. In fact, the study showed a 30% increase in mental ability over a one-year time-frame when those with dementia exercised daily.

Why Does Exercise Help?

The answer is quite simple. Exercise reduces the risk of getting dementia by reducing the chance of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, both of which are risk factors for dementia. But it goes even deeper than that. When one exercises, the brain releases and increases the level of a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This is a super powerful substance for brain cells. It can help form new brain cells, new pathways, and new connections, all of which those with dementia have fewer of than those without dementia.

If you couple cardiovascular exercise with brain challenges, like puzzles, the result can be profound. The key is obviously to exercise the brain and make it more active so that new neuro-pathways are formed and/or maintained. While there’s no cure yet for the disease, there are ways to prevent it from getting worse, although they are not guaranteed.

Beyond adding more cells and pathways, exercise increases the blood flow to the brain by getting the heart rate up. This added blood to the brain can help nourish and replenish. It can also increase the volume of the brain, which is normally depleted in those with dementia.

Studies and researchers suggest that in order to stimulate the brain fully, exercise needs to be of moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes. Then the exercises must be performed at least four to five times a week. More is better in this case. The more you can stimulate the brain, the more benefits may be seen to help build new pathways, connections, and cells. Of course, the studies also showed no effects or negative effects in some people, but the numbers were smaller and there could have been other contributing factors that affected the results. Overall, it was concluded that those with dementia that exercised show an increase in brain function.

What Bonaventure Senior Living is Doing

At Bonaventure Senior Living, we’re always looking into the latest and greatest ways to accommodate our seniors, whether it’s from our 16 Living Perfected activities a day, numerous Dining Perfected menu options, or our Fitness Perfected program to help get seniors in the shape they want to be in.

Our Fitness Perfected program is a professionally designed group of classes for those living in independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Specifically, our memory care fitness classes are designed to engage both the body and mind. The classes are performed with skill levels and abilities in mind. It’s structured and highly individualized to meet the needs of each seniors. Classes are done in a group setting or one-on-one, depending on the person and situation. We understand that fitness is good for the body, but we also understand that it’s good for ensuring the best possible neurological benefits, including combating dementia and other cognitive impairments.


Researchers are constantly trying to find new and innovative ways to treat or cure dementia. With ongoing research, it may be possible to find a viable treatment soon, and possibly a cure in the near future.

Bonaventure Senior Living

At Bonaventure Senior Living, we have Retirement PerfectedLiving PerfectedDining Perfected, and Fitness Perfected.  The best way to see for yourself is to Book-A-Tour today and discover how you can live life on your own terms. We specialize in Independent LivingAssisted Living, and Memory Care, that way, no matter what your current situation is, we have all levels of care covered if your needs ever change.

Independent Living

With Independent Living, we want you to enjoy Simplified Living, allowing you to have the freedom to do what makes you happy. Our Independent Living is designed to accommodate the exceptional senior lifestyle that you’ve earned. What’s even better, is that with Independent Living we offer whatever supportive services that you may need at any time you may need them. Now that’s Retirement Perfected.

Assisted Living

Assisted Living at Bonaventure Senior Living is simple: all the lifestyle benefits of our Independent Living, but with any extra support that you may need. Our philosophy is based on three simple things: choice, independence, and dignity. Now that’s Assisted Living at its finest.

Memory Care

Every senior is a unique person, and our Memory Care approach is no different. We tailor our Memory Care by connecting with family members and taking time to understand each person’s specific circumstances. This includes mental, emotional, and physical health. Our Memory Care creates an honorable and professional plan to make sure that each person lives their life to the fullest. That’s the way Memory Care should be.