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.
Sometimes, people with Alzheimer’s disease lash out for no clear reason. They may get upset or angry easily. They may curse, hurl insults, or scream. They might even throw things or resist caregivers by pushing and hitting. This kind of aggression usually starts when people get to the later stages of the disease.
No one knows for sure why it happens. Aggression may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease itself. It could also be a reaction when a person feels confused or frustrated.
If your loved...
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