For people with Alzheimer’s disease, exercise is a way to stay healthy and improve their quality of life. Many Alzheimer’s assisted living facilities to prioritize exercise and use it as a form of therapy. You can encourage your loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease to stay active by working out. Here is a guide for safe exercises for Alzheimer’s disease sufferers.
Regular physical activities keep the body strong and healthy. Some physical benefits of exercise include:
- Strengthening the bones and muscles
- Improving weight and fitness
- Controlling blood pressure and sugar levels
- Maintaining heart and lung health
- Maintaining brain health through the circulation of blood, oxygen, and nutrients
- Reducing the risk of developing lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease
Exercise can also help with mental health. During physical activity, the brain distributes endorphins, a chemical that causes feelings of calm and happiness while diminishing pain in the body. Exercise can also improve cognitive functioning, which helps slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. As always, consult with your loved one’s doctor before embarking on an exercise routine to make sure that the exercises are safe for them.
Mild to Moderate Exercises for People with Alzheimer’s Disease
- Tai Chi: This therapeutic workout improves agility, flexibility, strength, and balance. Videos for tai chi workouts are available online. Otherwise, check with a nearby fitness studio to see if they offer it.
- Weightlifting: Weightlifting can strengthen bones and prevent age-related muscle loss. Regular weightlifting also prevents the development of osteoporosis and joint pain. Let your loved one work with lighter weights twice a week. It is important to consult a professional trainer and doctor before starting on a weightlifting routine so that you are aware of your loved one’s limitations. Weightlifting is definitely not an activity you want to overdo!
- Dancing: This aerobic activity provides an opportunity for socialization and strengthens the heart and lung capacity of your loved one. A community event also provides something to look forward to, helping boost your loved one’s mood.
- Water Exercises: These exercises act as physical therapy for adults with issues in their lower extremities and joints. Minimal movements are great for boosting body strength.
- Gardening: This beneficial activity for the elderly also works as moderate exercise while improving your loved one’s mood and sense of fulfillment.
Gentle Exercises for People with Alzheimer’s Disease
For people in more advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease, moving around may be difficult. However, you can still encourage your loved ones to engage in gentle exercises, such as:
- Stretching in Bed: This activates muscles and joints. You can also assist your loved one during these stretches.
- Stationary Bikes: This allows your loved ones to remain seated while working their lower body muscles. It also helps strengthen their lungs and heart.
- Chair Yoga: These exercises enhance the body’s core strength and flexibility while providing stable support. The meditative properties of yoga also help with your loved one’s mental health.
Keeping Your Loved Ones Active and Safe
Discovery Village At Palm Beach Gardens offers a variety of amenities and services to keep your loved ones active and safe. Our Dimensions Health & Fitness program takes care of your loved one’s holistic health so that they are both mentally and physically cared for.