Staying active is an important part of staying healthy. It also applies to people with dementia, or any long-term health condition. Physical activities don’t have to be strenuous and it is important to finding ways to keep active that suit you individually.
Although exercising and staying active might seem harder to do with dementia, and even harder now that we are restricted to our one walk a day, but there are many ways to improve and manage symptoms through other physical activities.
Small steps can take you a long way
It is important to understand that little exercise is better than no exercise. Staying active can include walking up to one mile on your walk of the day, going up and down the stairs several times in a row, following an exercising video online, etc. Small amounts of activity like this have proven to help manage and reduce the impact of symptoms of dementia and other long-term health conditions.
Do it to the best of your abilities
As mentioned above, small amounts of exercising can show significant improvements to someone’s health. Pushing yourself too hard can be detrimental to your health and overall well-being, therefore it is very important to stay active within reason. If there are some types of exercising that would require more effort than you can provide, stick with realistic moves and exercises you know, which are suitable and can be achieved.
Keep it engaging
Knowing what you can do and knowing your limits will allow you to switch things up. Doing the exact same exercise over and over again is not the most engaging type of activity, so knowing your limitations of what you can and cannot do is a great start to come up with different daily or weekly activities to make staying active engaging and fun.
Finding someone to exercise with is a proven way to stay motivated. It can help with making a workout session more fun but is also a great way to socialise. Whether it is a relative, a friend, a carer other or organised classes for people with long-term health conditions, having one or multiple exercising partners provides valuable support. Take a look at our blog ‘Dancing and Dementia’ to learn about the incredible benefits this has on dementia patients around the world.
Some Exercises to Try
The Body Coach has released some seated exercise videos for people who are less mobile to try, here https://bit.ly/3dNzAg5
Alzheimer’s society have launched a programme called Love to Move which has made a seated gymnastics programme for people living with dementia, you can download the pack to try their activities at home! – https://bit.ly/2UZs4pE
Before you do any exercise, remember to have water readily available, ensure that everyone is wearing comfortable clothing, and do a warm up and cool down whenever you’re getting active!
Keeping this a regular activity does not have to be a burden, and daily/weekly physical activities can be as fun as they are beneficial. Exercising helps keeping you healthy and reducing symptoms of dementia but also provides a way to socialise and interact in an engaging way!Posted 14th April 2020