Monday, March 15, 2010

Exercise: It Does a Body (and Mind) Good

Program Aide Cora at our Encinitas Center leads a lively exercise session.

Health care professionals have long known that regular exercise carries many physical, mental and emotional benefits. Researchers continually show us that, among other benefits, exercise helps mitigate and perhaps even alleviate depression. That’s also true of those with Alzheimer’s Disease, where as many of 87% of older AD patients suffer some form of depression, according to Clinical Gerontologist.

At our Glenner Centers in Chula Vista, Hillcrest and Encintas, daily exercise is encouraged through walks around our facilities and chair calisthenics. Researchers at Florida Atlantic University explained in one study why exercise may be so important to AD patients:

There is a great need for non-pharmacological interventions for depression in moderate to late stage AD. These individuals are less able to participate in talking therapies and more at risk for adverse effects of antidepressant medications than are other depressed older adults.

It's important to note that caregivers, too, can help stave off depression and remain physically and mentally healthy through daily exercise as well.