Several studies have shown that physical exercise can prevent and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Did you know that it can also benefit even those who are presently living with the condition? While there are many ways of treating Alzheimer’s disease including behavioral changes, environmental changes, medication, and education, physical exercise too has been repeatedly emphasized as a way to manage the condition.
Engaging in a regular regimen of exercises can have a significant effect on the well-being of people afflicted with the condition. Staying physically active is crucial for mental and physical health and may help enhance the quality of life of people in all stages of the disease.
Some Positive Benefits of Exercises on Alzheimer’s Patients.
• It improves the health of the blood vessels and the heart; this, in turn, helps reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure
• It decreases the risk of certain types of cancers such as colon and breast cancer, type 2 diabetes and stroke
• It helps improve physical fitness. Flexible joints and strong muscles can enable people to be independent for a long time
• It can work wonders to improve the ability to do several daily activities including cooking, cleaning, dressing and the like
• It helps to keep the bones strong; this prevents the risk of osteoporosis
• It works to improve cognition. Several studies have revealed that exercise can give a boost to memory and help decrease the pace of mental decline
• It leads to better sleep. A lack of physical activity can hinder the ability to sleep, especially if someone is taking frequent naps during the day and is restless at night.
• Exercising outdoors opens up avenues of social interaction and reduces the feelings of isolation
• It reduces the risk of falling down by improving balance and strength
• It helps to deal with the challenging behaviors of the condition such as wandering and restlessness
• It improves cognition in people with mild cognitive impairment.
• A significant percentage of people with dementia experience some level of depression. This can impact the quality of life of a person. Exercises release endorphins in the body that helps elevate the mood.
• It enhances confidence, self-esteem, and overall well-being
Before starting an exercise regimen, it is a good idea to take into account the age, abilities and the stage of dementia of the afflicted. People who have not engaged in any exercise for a long time or those who suffer from health issues must take the advice of a doctor. It is important to consult a doctor before starting any new exercise and also if the patient suffers from the following conditions:
• High blood pressure
• Heart issues
• Chest pain
• Bone problems
• Breathing issues
• Frequent falls
While these health conditions would not stop anyone from exercising, medical advice is still recommended. While choosing exercises, it must be borne in mind to select those which are enjoyable and are suitable. Exercises can be done alone or under supervision. Some people may want to try different activities to understand what suits them best.
The afflicted must exercise only as much as their present physical condition allows. Engaging in an overdose of exercises may be bad for the health. If they feel unwell while exercising, it is best to stop the exercise and take medical help.
Doing regular exercise is a crucial aspect of a healthy lifestyle and can help to achieve overall well-being. It is best to incorporate suitable physical activities as early as possible to help manage Alzheimer’s disease better.