Regular physical activity has many benefits for people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Exercise helps keep muscles, joints, and the heart in good shape.
It also helps people stay at a healthy weight and can improve sleep.
Caregivers can help people with Alzheimer’s disease be more active and stay safe:
- Be realistic about how much activity can be done at one time. Several 10-minute “mini-workouts” may be best.
- Help get the activity started or join in to make the activity more fun.
- Find time in the morning for exercise.
- Break exercises into simple, easy-to-follow steps.
- Choose comfortable clothes that are suitable for the weather and appropriate shoes that fit well.
- Make sure both you and the person with Alzheimer’s drink plenty of water when exercising.
Some physical activities to try:
- Take a walk together.
- Do simple tasks around the house, like sweeping and raking.
- Work in the garden.
- Play music and dance.
- Exercise with videos made for older people. Try the sample workout on the National Institute on Aging’s free Go4Life DVD.
- Throw a soft rubber exercise ball back and forth.
- Lift weights or household items, like soup cans.
Try being active together. Physical activity and exercise are good for caregivers, too.
- Use resistance bands, which you can buy in sporting goods stores. Be sure to follow the instructions.