Incorporating exercise into the daily routine has benefits for both the person with AD and the caregiver. Not only can it improve health, but it also can provide a meaningful activity for both of you to share.
- Think about what kind of physical activities you both enjoy, perhaps walking, swimming, tennis, dancing, or gardening. Determine the time of day and place where this type of activity would work best.
- Be realistic in your expectations. Build slowly, perhaps just starting with a short walk around the yard, for example, before progressing to a walk around the block.
- Be aware of any discomfort or signs of overexertion. Talk to the person's doctor if this happens.
- Allow as much independence as possible, even if it means a less-than-perfect garden or a scoreless tennis match.
- See what kinds of exercise programs are available in your area. Senior centers may have group programs for people who enjoy exercising with others. Local malls often have walking clubs and provide a place to exercise when the weather is bad.
- Encourage physical activities. Spend time outside when the weather permits. Exercise often helps everyone sleep better.
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