Exercise is good for everyone, and it’s especially important for people with Alzheimer’s disease. It won’t cure the condition, but it can help ease some of its symptoms.
Exercise helps people sleep better and feel more alert during the day, so it can promote a normal day-and-night routine for people with Alzheimer’s. It also can improve mood. Repetitive exercises such as walking, indoor bicycling, and even tasks such as folding laundry may lower anxiety in people with the disease because they don't have to make decisions or remember what to do next. They also can feel good knowing that they’ve accomplished something when they’re finished.
No one knows for sure what, if anything, can prevent Alzheimer's disease. Scientists are working on understandinghow people can control their risk for the condition through their lifestyle habits, like diet, exercise, social connections, and staying mentally active.
It’s also hard for doctors to know for certain who has a higher risk for the disease. Alzheimer’s tends to run in families, but if you have a parent or sibling who has it, there’s no guarantee you’ll get it, too.
Your best bet is to...
The type of exercise that works best for someone with Alzheimer’s depends on their symptoms, fitness level, and overall health. Check with your loved one’s doctor before she starts any exercise program. The doctor may have advice on:
The types of exercise that are best for her, and ones to avoid