Explore The Best Exercises for Alzheimer’s Prevention

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Published on: 27-Mar-2024

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Anushka Tripathi

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Explore The Best Exercises for Alzheimer’s Prevention

Explore The Best Exercises for Alzheimer’s Prevention

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Did you know that Alzheimer's disease is a chronic neurological disorder that mainly affects the elderly, causing progressive memory loss and accounting for 60-80% of dementia cases?  

According to the AD Association, approximately 33% of adults over 65 will die from AD or dementia. This makes AD a significant health challenge, particularly for those over 75, who account for around 81% of people with the condition. With global life expectancy increasing, there are currently 46.8 million people living with dementia, and this number is expected to reach 131.5 million by 2050 

Some common symptoms of AD include difficulty retaining new information, memory loss (especially short-term memory), problems with solving problems, disorientation, and mood and personality changes. 

While the thought of Alzheimer's disease can be scary, research is uncovering powerful tools to help keep your brain sharp and your memory thriving. One surprising weapon in this fight? Exercise for Alzheimer’s prevention! Yes, staying physically active isn't just good for your body; it can be a game-changer for your brain health too. 

This blog post is your guide to unlocking the activities for advanced Alzheimer's patients. We'll explore the best exercises specifically designed to promote cognitive function and potentially reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia. Read the blog to know more.  


Table Of Contents  

1. Mind Exercises For Alzheimer's Patients  
2. Physical Exercise For Alzheimer's 

3. Activities For Alzheimer's Patients: From Mild To Advanced  
4. Does Exercise Help Dementia? 

5. What Exercise Is Best For Dementia?  

6. The Final Say 

7. FAQs 

8. References 

Mind Exercises For Alzheimer's Patients 


There are different types of brain games available, so it’s important to find ones that you can enjoy: 

1. Sudoku – Game With Numbers 

Sudoku is a type of puzzle game that uses numbers instead of words. It is a great exercise for your brain and helps in improving your memory and concentration. Although the game may seem complicated at first, this is a good sign that your brain is working well and getting a good workout. Playing Sudoku regularly can be an effective way to keep your mind active and sharp. 

2. Crossword Puzzles 

Crossword puzzles are one of the traditional and free brain activities that can be enjoyed by seniors with dementia. To complete these riddles, you must test your language knowledge. It has been scientifically claimed that crossword lovers have a better memory, and they can cope well with problems in critical situations. 

3. Sing Or Play Music With Music Instruments 

Playing music is one of the great ways to exercise your brain, as musical training improves your:  

  • Memory 

  • Cognitive function 

  • Executive function 

Playing an instrument helps in reducing stress and anxiety. If you are not a musician, you can still enjoy the various advantages of music by singing along to your favourite songs. 

4. Playing Checkers Or Chess 

Checkers and chess are two classic board games that help improve your:  

  • Memory 

  • Planning 

  • Problem-solving skills  

These games prepare your mind to think ahead and consider your next move. Regular practice of this exercise sharpens your mind and keeps your cognitive function sharp. 

5. Learn Foreign Language 

Learning a new language is helpful in enhancing memory, cognitive function, and attention span. Also, it is never too late to begin studying a foreign language. There are several material sources accessible, including: 

  • Online classes 

  • Apps 

  • Books 

6. Join A Book Club 

Along with brain games for Alzheimer’s patients, you should also join a book club. Book clubs provides an opportunity for you to discuss what you are reading with others. This helps in improving your comprehension and memory recall. Plus, reading itself is a great way in keeping your mind active and engaged. 

Physical Exercise For Alzheimer's 

Aerobic exercise seems to be the champion when it comes to protection against Alzheimer’s and maintaining executive function. Of course, most of the mice participating in Alzheimer’s trials run on their wheels, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Biking, dancing, swimming, or any activity that gets your heart rate up must be practised. 

That is because it has the potential to increase BDNF levels, spur blood flow shore up blood vessels, and decrease “white matter hyperintensities,” abnormal changes that affect how the brain transmits electrical signals. Recent research also indicates that resistance-based muscle-building exercises may support a broad spectrum of cognitive functions.  

Tai chi and other types of movement that incorporate mindfulness also decrease stress and inflammation and improve sleep, she adds. And some research suggests that a mix of many types of exercises may provide stronger improvement than a single activity.  

Here are some of the effective exercise for Alzheimer’s prevention:  

  • Marching 

  • Turning the upper body from side to side 

  • Raising the heels and toes 

  • Raising the arms towards the ceiling 

  • Raising the opposite arm and leg 

  • Bending the legs 

  • Clapping under the legs 

  • Bicycling the legs 

Activities For Alzheimer's Patients: From Mild To Advanced 

There are several therapeutic activities that are proven to be beneficial for individuals living with Alzheimer’s at all stages of the disease. Therapeutic activities can increase their cognitive function, may provide joy and relaxation, and contribute to healthy ageing.  

Different combinations of activities along with exercise for Alzheimer’s prevention can also change depending on the stage of the disease. At every stage, you can pick (and combine) activities that are mental (cognitive), physical, social, expressive, and memory-based. Don’t forget: It's important to praise and compliment the person during therapeutic activities. 

Stage: Mild 

In the earliest stage of Alzheimer’s disease, individuals may experience these symptoms: 

  • Misplace things 

  • Ask the same question again and again 

  • Forget words 

  • Forget something they just read 

  • Unable to remember names when you meet new people 

  • Have a hard time making plans or organising projects 

During this stage of Alzheimer’s, these therapeutic activities may be helpful: 

  • Cognitive (thinking) activities: Things like trivia, word searches (puzzles), and card and board games. 

  • Physical activities: Try fitness routines and whatever gets someone moving, like walking, dancing gardening, and flower arranging. 

  • Social activities: Talking with friends and loved ones, storytelling, an example. 

  • Expressive activities: They may like painting, playing or singing music, journaling, and writing letters to loved ones. 

  • Remembering activities: These include scrapbooking, cooking and baking favourite recipes, and holiday traditions. 

Stage: Moderate 

In the middle stage of Alzheimer’s disease, individuals may experience symptoms: 

  • Forgetting details about themselves 

  • Having trouble cooking meals or ordering from a menu 

  • Getting confused about what kind of clothes to wear 

  • Forgetting details about time, seasons, dates, and locations 

  • Having a strong emotional need to have a purpose or care for something 

  • Facing sleep problems 

  • Develop hygiene issues and incontinence (loss of bladder control) 

  • Need help starting or continuing activities 

During this stage, these types of activities may help: 

  • Cognitive (thinking) activities: These are daily living tasks such as folding laundry, washing dishes, and sorting socks. 

  • Physical activities: Choose something easy to follow, like dancing to familiar music or guided walks. 

  • Social activities: Try pet play-dates or talking with friends about familiar or interesting topics. 

  • Expressive activities: such as taking art classes, watercolor painting, and singalongs. 

Stage: Advanced  

In advanced stage of Alzheimer's, the following are the discerning symptoms:  

  • Severe memory loss, including forgetting recent events and difficulty recognizing familiar faces. 

  • Difficulty communicating, including trouble finding the right words and following conversations. 

  • Challenges with daily tasks, such as dressing, bathing, and eating independently. 

  • Impaired mobility, leading to difficulty walking, standing, and maintaining balance. 

  • Behavioral changes, such as agitation, aggression, and wandering. 

  • Increased dependency on caregivers for basic needs and personal care. 

During this stage, these types of activities for advanced Alzheimer's patients may alleviate symptoms:  

  • Sensory Stimulation: Provide tactile experiences with soft fabrics, textured objects, or scented lotions to engage the senses. 

  • Music Therapy: Play familiar songs or calming music to evoke memories and promote relaxation. 

  • Reminiscence Activities: Look through old photo albums or engage in reminiscing conversations to stimulate memory recall. 

  • Pet Therapy: Arrange visits with therapy animals or provide stuffed animals for comfort and companionship. 

  • Nature Therapy: Take short walks in a safe outdoor environment or bring indoor plants for a connection to nature. 

  • Gentle Exercise: Encourage simple movements like stretching or seated exercises to maintain mobility and flexibility. 

Does Exercise Help Dementia? 

Individuals who have Alzheimer's disease can obtain similar advantages from regular exercise such as enhanced cardiovascular fitness, endurance, and strength just like any other person. However, it is essential to consult with the person's doctor regarding their exercise regimen or before beginning any new exercise program. 

Exercise for dementia treatment can give many health benefits, while managing dementia risk factors including: 

  • Improved mood 

  • Better sleep quality 

  • Reduced likelihood of constipation 

  • Lower incidence of disease-related mental decline 

  • Improved memory 

  • Better behavior such as reduced rate of wandering, swearing and acting aggressively, and better communication and social skills are some of the benefits of regular exercise. 

What Exercise Is Best For Dementia? 

Here are some of the best exercise for Alzheimer’s prevention that you must take a look into: 

Exercise  

Explanation 

Walking  

This is one of the best exercise for Alzheimer’s prevention, and is totally free. Walking helps to work off the restless urge to wander which is very common in Alzheimer’s patients. Try combining your evening walk with a useful errand, like going to the shops for milk or exercising the dog. 

Cycling  

Riding a tandem bicycle is a fun way to explore the outdoors with a partner. In a tandem bike, you can take the front seat and steer while your partner sits at the back and pedals. However, if your partner has dementia and struggles with balance, you might want to consider renting a three-wheeled bike instead. This way, you can still cycle alongside them while ensuring their safety. 

Balance Exercises  

Movements that focus on improving balance and coordination, such as standing on one leg or Tai Chi. 
 

Flexibility Exercises  

Stretching routines that increase flexibility and range of motion, reducing the risk of injury and promoting relaxation. 
 

The Final Say 

After reading this blog about benefits of exercise for Alzheimer’s prevention, you must have understood that there are various activities as well as workouts that are proven appropriate and safe for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Remember, the best exercise routine for Alzheimer's prevention is the one you'll stick with! Find activities you enjoy, whether it's dancing to your favourite music, joining a walking group, or trying a new tai chi class. 

By incorporating these brain-boosting exercises into your routine, you're not just strengthening your body; you're taking a proactive step toward promoting cognitive health and potentially reducing your risk of Alzheimer's disease. 

FAQs 

1. What are the balance exercises for dementia patients? 

Here are the best Alzheimer's prevention exercise or for dementia patients:  

  • Heel Raises: Lift your heels and lower them 

  • Toe Raises: Lift your toes and lower them 

  • One Leg Stand: Stand on one leg for 10 seconds 

  • Heel Toe Stand: Put one foot in front of the other like standing on a tightrope 

  • Heel Toe Walking: Walk one foot in front of the other like walking on a tightrope 


2. What are the best aerobic exercise for Alzheimer's disease? 

Here are the best aerobic exercises for Alzheimer’s prevention: 

  • Brisk walking 

  • Tai chi 

  • Dancing 

  • Bicycling less than 10 mph 

  • Yoga 


3. What are the benefits of exercise for Alzheimer patients? 

The exercise for Alzheimer’s patients helps in clearing the harmful environments in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, allowing new nerve cells to grow in the hippocampus, the brain structure responsible for memory and learning, leading to cognitive improvements such as memory retention and learning ability. 


4. What helps Alzheimer's patients? 

Along with following Alzheimer's workout, encouraging the person with dementia to join social groups, community activities, religious activities or hobbies is helpful.  


5. What are the best Alzheimer's exercises for seniors? 

Some of the best exercises for senior Alzheimer's patients include walking, gardening, painting and crafts as well as housework 

References 

 

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