Exercises for people and patients with Alzheimer’s disease can improve their mood, confidence, and self esteem. Physical health is important even while battling mental and cognitive decline.
Although exercise won’t cure the disease, it can lower the risk of heart disease, some forms of cancer, and other ailments. Many activities are low-impact and easy on the joints, and lots of fun.
It especially helps those in the middle stages of the disease live more independent lives. People who exercise regularly are less stressed, anxious, and depressed. Even in later stages of the disease, stronger muscles can help someone do more for themselves.
Exercises: What’s Good for An Alzheimer’s Sufferer?
Tai chi is a gentle exercise yet produces great results. It involves a series of light exercises and stretches that easy is on the joints and can be done indoors or outdoors. It improves balance and strength, and is given at senior centers and skilled nursing facilities.
Gardening a great way to stay active outside. It stimulates the senses and creates a sense of purpose. Time tending a garden can soothe stress and lower blood pressure, too.
Whether you swim laps or do water aerobics, working out in water is a great choice. It’s good for the joints and can be relaxing. It’s great for the heart, too; and the water’s resistance strengthens the body.
Yoga does ease stress and boost strength and flexibility. Researchers at UCLA found that people who did yoga for 3 months had better memories than those who did other memory exercises, such as crossword puzzles. Although the people in that study didn’t have Alzheimer’s yet, they did have symptoms than can lead to Alzheimer’s. Yoga made them less depressed, stressed, and anxious.
Walking is probably the best exercise of all time. Indoors at the gym or outdoors on a beautiful day, walking provides many benefits. It helps prevent heart disease and diabetes, A daily walk is a great way to add structure and routine to an Alzheimer’s patient’s life. Those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s should be able to walk longer than those in later stages. To keep it fun, bring a friend, or listen to music.
Exercises: Cardio Training
Aerobic exercise boosts blood flow to the parts of the brain that deal with memory. It also eases depression and anxiety and improves mood. Anything that makes the heart beat faster counts. If your loved one is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, sweaty exercise might still be OK. For those in the later stages, something as simple as dancing or walking can still make a difference.
Exercises: Chair Exercises
Even if your loved one might physically have a hard time moving, there is still a way to exercise. The key is to get creative. Grab a chair, for example. A person can do all sorts of exercises while sitting down. Fold the arms and twist the upper body. Do arm raises and leg stretches. And push against the chair with your hands. Or, move and sway to the beat of your favorite music.