Memory and Exercising

Physical exercise benefits people with dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and memory issues.

Does physical exercise have benefits for people with dementia? Physical exercise should be continued for as long as possible for people with dementia, as it has been found to have several benefits. It can help prevent muscle weakness, mobility problems, and other health complications associated with inactivity. It can help promote a normal day-night routine, improve mood, and increase social participation. Exercise also plays a part in reducing stress and depression, which are commonly experienced by people with dementia. Repetitive activity such as walking on a treadmill or using an exercise bike can help reduce anxiety for people with dementia as there are no decisions to make or things to remember about what to do next.

Evidence suggests that only a small number of people aged over 65 – fewer than 20% – engage in an adequate level of physical activity, while people who have dementia are even less likely to engage in such activity.

An exercise program incorporated into a person’s lifestyle in the early stages of dementia is more likely to be maintained as the condition progresses, extending the benefits to health and well-being for as long as possible. In the moderate to late stages of dementia, support and encouragement from family, caregivers, and service providers is important to ensure that an exercise program is maintained. Accessing a structured exercise program with trained staff and using family, friends, and volunteers can help to ensure this. The program should include appropriate elements of aerobic exercise, resistance training, and flexibility and balance exercises. Of course, you should always consult your doctor before starting any exercise program, particularly where there are other illnesses or disabilities to consider.

Serving those with Dementia, Alzheimer's, and Memory Issues on Indy's Northside

Fitness 4 Function provides functional fitness and evidence-based training designed for seniors and those with dementia, Alzheimer's disease, or memory issues on the Northside of Indianapolis, including Fishers, Carmel, Noblesville, Westfield, and surrounding areas. Contact us to learn more about our in-home exercise programs.

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