Physical and Mental Exercises for Treating Dementia

Leading a more physical life by taking regular exercise can have a positive effect on everyone, including people suffering from dementia. Exercise promotes a positive outlook and a feeling of well being. With exercise the heart and lungs can work more effectively, reducing the chances of suffering from elevated blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, strokes, and some forms of cancer. Exercise can also help you to keep your joints more supple and strengthen bones. Exercise can help you sleep better, and with this you feel more energised and positive. Recent studies have shown that exercise can also improve your memory function.

Taking exercise does not have to mean taking up jogging! It can mean just doing more physically demanding task, such as gardening and housework. Being outdoors and enjoying the garden can lift your mood, so incorporating some gardening can be both beneficial and satisfying. Gardening can vary from gentle pruning to raking the leaves from the lawn, so there is a wide choice of the level activity that can be undertaken.

Other forms of physical exercise can include, walking, this has no cost and is available to everyone. Walking is an exercise that can fit with any level of ability, and can also be a sociable event if you join a walkers club. Swimming can also be a sociable activity if you join a local pool, or a solitary exercise if you prefer. If your level of movement is restricted, then seated exercise may be an option. These can be done at home or in a local class if available. This form of exercise involves stretching and building muscle tone and strength.

People who have not been doing any form of exercise are recommended to do about 30 minutes, at least five days a week. It needn't all be done at the same time, if more suitable; it can be split into 10 or 15 minutes sections of different activities.

Brain teasers and puzzles help to keep your mind active. Crossword puzzles, whether easy or cryptic, get the brain working and can be an absorbing pastime. If you have a like minded friend, then board games such as draughts and chess can add a social element to keeping your brain active, and adding a little competition helps to keep things interesting! If there are a group of friends then a game of cards is fun and entertaining. Keeping up to date with the news by reading a daily newspaper, or reading a novel are both stimulating activities. Joining a book club adds an interesting debate to the exercise and encourages you to perhaps read novels that you wouldn't normally select yourself. They say you are never too old to learn, so taking up a new hobby and making new friends can only enrich your life and others.