Health and Wellness

Exercise and a healthy diet are important to healthy aging.

older-black-people-running.jpgGetting older should be about relaxing and taking it easy, right? Not exactly. Exercise is a necessary part of healthy aging.

You will benefit from just about any type of exercise as you age, as long as you’re not at risk of injury. Low-impact exercises are often the best choice, especially when coupled with weight-bearing exercises.

Here are some options to keep you fit, flexible, and feeling energized. Choose at least one exercise from each group: 

  • Aerobics  gets the heart pumping and blood flowing, and may leave you a little sweaty and breathless. Good aerobic exercises to try are:
    • Swimming
    • Walking or light jogging
    • Water aerobics or other water classes or exercise
    • Biking
    • Hiking
    • Tennis
    • Golf (minus the carts)
  • You don’t need to become a bodybuilder, but strengthening muscles can make everyday chores and activities easier, plus it helps your bones. Boost muscle strength using:
    • Elastic resistance bands
    • Light free weights or dumbbells
    • Weight machines
    • Using pieces of furniture or walls at home for resistance
  • Keeping muscles stretched, flexible, and limber will help you feel better, and working on balance can prevent falls. Strengthen flexibility with:
    • Pilates
    • Yoga
    • Tai chi
  • Keeping muscles stretched, flexible, and limber will help you feel better, and working on balance can prevent falls. Strengthen balance and flexibility with:
    • Pilates
    • Yoga
    • Tai chi

How Exercise Helps Overall

Exercise keeps you moving, healthy, and feeling energized. But staying active also benefits your mind, spirit, and body by: 

  • Keeping you independent and able to take care of yourself at home.
  • Reducing the risk of falls and broken bones.
  • Improving your self-confidence and feelings of happiness and self-worth.
  • Lowering your risk of serious illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.
  • Keeping your brain and memory functioning well.

Making Exercise Part of Your Schedule

It can be tough to make exercise a habit and a regular part of your day, but the benefits are well worth the effort. Make a commitment to exercise, and use these tips to help you ease into a workout program:

  • Talk to your doctor:  Make sure it’s safe for you to start an exercise routine, and learn which exercises are best and how much you can push yourself.
  • Get equipped:  You’ll need sturdy, supportive shoes for whatever exercise you choose, whether it’s walking or biking. Also make sure you have clothing that’s comfortable and will help absorb sweat.
  • Make the time:  Set aside time every day for exercise, even if you start just by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or with a walk around the block. Gradually work your way up to longer workouts on most or every day of the week.
  • Get motivated:  Consider getting a workout buddy to keep you on track or hiring a personal trainer to develop a program. A trainer will encourage you to stick with it and help you chart your progress.
  • Make it fun:  Exercise doesn’t have to be an exhausting, sweaty chore that you dread. Enjoy your workout! Go dancing, swimming, bike with your friends, or take up a new sport or game. While you’re exercising, listen to music, chat with a friend, or just escape into your own thoughts.

You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to work in small bits of exercise each day and how you’ll come to enjoy it and look forward to it. Everyone wants to stay healthy, active, and independent as they age, and regular exercise is the key.


A person with Alzheimer’s or other Related Dementia has a higher chance of experiencing weight loss and an increase in behavioral symptoms with a poor diet.   

Incorporating the tips listed here can help to increase brain and overall health of a person with Dementia as well as the caregiver! 

  • Practicing a Balanced Diet:  Adding more veggies, fruits and decreasing dairy and protein intake. 
  • Decrease intake of foods with highly saturated fat and cholesterol:  Not all fats are equal. Cut back on the butter, solid shortening, lard and fatty cuts of meats.
  • Eliminate refined sugars:  Try cutting the usual amount of sugar you would add by half.
  • Cut back on high sodium content foods:  Consuming high levels of sodium affects your blood pressure. Substituting with spices and herbs as an alternative to seasoning can help. 
  • STAY HYDRATED:  Dehydration can lead to many avoidable symptoms. Be sure to drink plenty of water. You may also encourage soups, broths and smoothies.