Preventing Alzheimer's Disease With Exercise

Preventing Alzheimer's Disease With Exercise

For people with Alzheimer’s disease, physical activity should be continued for as long as possible. This is to help prevent muscle weakness and to help prevent other health complications associated with inactivity. Exercise may raise brain chemicals that help protect nerve cells. Exercise also promotes a normal day and night routine, and may help improve mood.You should check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Can exercise prevent memory loss and improve cognitive function?

Exercising several times a week for 30 to 60 minutes may:

Preventing Alzheimer's Disease Tips For Exercise

  • Keep thinking, reasoning and learning skills sharp for healthy individuals
  • Improve memory, reasoning, judgment and thinking skills (cognitive function) for people with mild Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment
  • Delay the start of Alzheimer's for people at risk of developing the disease or slow the progress of the disease
Physical activity seems to help the brain not only by keeping your blood flowing. It also increases chemicals that protect the brain and tends to counter some of the natural reduction in brain connections that occurs with aging.

More research is needed to know to what degree adding physical activity improves memory or slows the progression of cognitive decline. Nonetheless, regular exercise is important to stay physically and mentally fit.

Tips for exercise

Always warm up before beginning your exercise routine, and cool down at the end.

If you plan to work out for 30 minutes, start with 10-minute sessions and work your way up.

Try water exercise, such as aqua aerobics. These are often easier on the joints and require less balance.

Work out in a safe environment; avoid slippery floors, poor lighting, throw rugs, and other potential dangers.
If you have difficulty maintaining your balance, exercise within reach of a grab bar or rail. If you have trouble standing or getting up, try exercising in bed rather than on the floor or an exercise mat.

If at any time you feel sick or you begin to hurt, STOP the activity.

Most important of all, select a hobby or activity you enjoy and stick with it. Some suggestions include:
  • Gardening
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Water aerobics
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi