An active lifestyle is necessary for any person, even patients with Alzheimer’s disease. To improve their well-being, Alzheimer’s patients can engage in the following types of physical activity:
- Yoga chair;
- Weight training;
Why do people with Alzheimer’s disease have to be engaged in physical exercise?
As with many other diseases, exercise and physical activity are recommended for Alzheimer’s. Physical activity can reduce the risk of a number of ailments, including heart problems, and even some forms of cancer. Also, of course, sport produces hormones of happiness, because it also improves mood and gives a positive charge.
Patients with Alzheimer’s disease should not resort to serious sports or heavy lifting.
How much physical activity should a patient with Alzheimer’s disease have?
The intensity of activity depends on the patient’s condition and the stage of the disease. Experts advise patients to start with 10-minute sessions.
Of course, before starting physical activity, a physician should inspect the condition and give recommendations on what loads are preferable and what to avoid.
This article will look at what exercise programs are appropriate for people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Do Exercise Can Help Prevent Alzheimer’s?
Doctors who study Alzheimer’s disease say that it is possible to prevent Alzheimer’s disease through exercise. Physical activities impact positively both psychological and physical health, reducing the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other health problems.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of exercise for Alzheimer’s patients:
- Physical activity helps to prevent such problems with cognitive functions as memory loss, absent-mindedness, and speech disorders.
- Exercise helps prevent the restlessness and lethargy that can occur in Alzheimer’s patients.
- Sport has a beneficial effect not only due to the rush of blood to the brain but also due to the release of certain chemicals that are necessary for the proper functioning of the brain.
- By exercising, you are fighting against the natural contraction of brain connections that comes with relapse.
Thus, with the help of physical exercises, you can try to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as alleviate its course if you already have it.
More information about Alzheimer’s disease you can find in our article.
Best Exercises for Alzheimer’s Patients
Exhausting workouts and professional sports are not what will help patients. Instead, doctors recommend yoga, walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, and gardening. The intensity of the training is determined by the specialist since the age and condition of the patient play a role.
Patients with Alzheimer’s disease need to avoid strength training as a physical exercise. The load should be moderate and cause relief over time.
Let’s take a closer look at what types of physical activity are suitable for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Walking is an excellent form of sports activity in many ways. For walking, you will not need to have special equipment and a special room. You can practice walking in any place convenient for you.
A patient with Alzheimer’s disease will benefit from walking. It takes 30-45 minutes a day to do it, accompanied by a close person. To do this, they can use both a treadmill and walk along the street. If at first, it is difficult for the patient to walk, it can be divided into smaller sessions. Before you start exercising at least, consult your doctor, a specialist will tell you from what distance and time you should start.
It is also necessary to say that there are special centers and groups that organize group walks under the supervision of specialists. Therefore, a walk can be not only useful but also a fun event where you can meet people and chat with like-minded people.
Combine business with pleasure, an ordinary walk in good weather can be an exercise, especially in good company. This will give a boost of energy, improve mood, and will also be a good prevention of physical inactivity and other diseases.
Yoga in a chair will help you maintain your balance during class. A combination of stretching exercises and proper breathing will help improve body flexibility, coordination, and relaxation. People with Alzheimer’s can try a sedentary exercise program at home or with a group in a local class. Before starting classes, patients are advised to see the instructions for these exercises at least once performed by a professional instructor. Each time, the patient can increase the number of times to perform each exercise, if they feel good doing it.
If a person has Alzheimer’s disease, the following exercises will be most appropriate for them:
- Turning the upper body in turn in different directions;
- Elevation of heels and toes;
- Stretching hands up;
- Raising the opposite arm and leg;
- Movements reminiscent of cycling;
- Making circles with your hands.
A stationary bike helps with simple and repetitive movements, which is great as a physical activity for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Classes on such a bike train the heart and train the load on the muscles.
Another good form of an exercise program for people with Alzheimer’s disease is weight training. This will help fight bone loss.
Studies have also shown that heavy lifting improves cognitive function, which is especially important for people with Alzheimer’s.
Swimming with a coach or close person also fits people with Alzheimer’s disease as a form of physical exercise. Many people enjoy swimming because of the calming effect of the water. Therefore, swimming is not only the prevention of physical diseases but also helps to deal with stress.
There are different types of dance that Alzheimer’s patients can do. These types of dances can be either team, couples or take place in groups or consist of impromptu movements using ribbons, balloons or balls. In fact, dancing can also be done while sitting on a chair. Dancing is a great way to stretch a little, relieve tension, and also stay in good shape.
Of course, this cannot be listed as one of the sports, but gardening requires a certain physical activity, involving certain muscle groups. The amount of time an Alzheimer’s patient can devote to gardening will be determined by the physician and will depend on the patient’s condition.
While gardening, you can engage in activities such as weeding, trimming, raking or mowing grass. Practicing such actions will help to train certain muscles of the body and improve the breathing process.
Although doctors still don’t know the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease, there are several ways of preventing this disease – one of them is exercising. Moreover, performing simple exercises will help keep the body in good shape and have good health.
If your close person suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, you should take them to the doctor.
Our experienced and highly qualified specialists help diagnose and treat many neurological diseases using modern equipment. To make an appointment with our specialists, call us on (214) 619-1910.
We treat various neurological disorders such as:
- Diabetic neuropathy;
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Alzheimer’s disease;
- Headaches and migraines;
- Parkinson’s disease;
- Multiple sclerosis.
It is not a complete list we can help with, our providers deal with many diseases.
- What kind of exercise is good for Alzheimer’s?
For patients with Alzheimer’s disease will be useful some physical exercises such as walking, chair yoga, stationary cycling, weight training, swimming, dancing, and gardening. These exercises are not difficult to perform, but they can improve the patient’s condition and slow down the progress of the illness.
- Can exercise reverse Alzheimer’s?
Unfortunately, physical activity will not help the patient cure Alzheimer’s disease. However, it will help to improve well-being and prevent depression, cardiovascular disease, cancer and other diseases.
- Is walking good for Alzheimer’s?
Walking is one type of physical activity that will be beneficial for Alzheimer’s patients. Walking outdoors or on a treadmill for half an hour daily will help achieve the desired effect.
- Can Alzheimer’s be prevented?
The exact causes of Alzheimer’s disease are still unknown because scientists have not invented certain methods to prevent this disease. However, for prevention, doctors advise getting enough sleep, eating right, avoiding stress, and engaging in physical activity.