Fitness for Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Medical Based Fitness Programs

Medical Based Fitness Programs

Leading a physically active lifestyle can have a significant impact on the well being of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Exercise is beneficial for physical and mental health and may improve the quality of life for people in all stages of the condition. Physical activities are sometimes defined as those activities that increase your heart rate and cause you to breathe more deeply. This includes everyday activities such as walking, gardening or dancing, as well as sports and exercises with the specific aim of improving fitness.

Our Medical Based Dementia Programs have the benefits of:

  • improving the health of the heart and blood vessels, which can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease
  • reducing the risk of some types of cancer (particularly breast and colon cancer), stroke and type 2 diabetes
  • improving physical fitness – maintaining strong muscles and flexible joints can help people maintain independence for longer
  • improving the ability to dress, clean, cook and perform other daily activities (as these may be performed more effectively if someone is fitter or more supple)
  • helping to keep bones strong and reducing the risk of osteoporosis (a disease that affects the bones, making them weak and more likely to break)
  • improving cognition – recent studies have shown that exercise may improve memory and slow down mental decline
  • improving sleep
  • providing opportunities for social interaction and reducing the feeling of isolation
  • reducing the risk of falls by improving strength and balance
  • improving confidence
  • increasing self-esteem
  • improving mood

Our exercise programs include:

  • Strengthening exercise. Regardless of your age, you can still build muscle, and you don’t need a bench press or weight lifting machine to get stronger. Older adults can use stretch bands, light weights, or wrist weights to achieve a stronger body. Muscle-building exercises also help caregivers provide better care.
  • Flexibility exercise. Exercises performed gently through a range of motion help keep joints flexible.
  • Basic balance. Everyone needs good balance to do just about everything, including walking, getting out of a chair, and leaning over to tie your shoes.
  • Cardiovascular or aerobic fitness. Cardio is a great way to get a heart-pumping workout while going easy on the joints. Exercise bikes are another option for aerobic fitness, especially when a person is overweight or suffering from knee problems.