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Support & Insight for the Autumn of Life

Staying Physically Fit with Alzheimer’s

Learn to take advantage of the many benefits in regular physical activity for people with Alzheimer's. Keep those muscles, joints and heart in good shape, stay at a healthy weight; improve sleep.

Caregivers can help people with Alzheimer’s disease
be more active and stay safe:

  • Be realistic about how much activity can be done at one
    time. Several 10-minute “mini-workouts” may be best.
  • Help get the activity started or join in to make the
    activity more fun.
  • Find time in the morning for exercise.
  • Break exercises into simple, easy-to-follow steps.
  • Choose comfortable clothes that are suitable for the
    weather and appropriate shoes that fit well.
  • Make sure both you and the person with Alzheimer’s
    drink plenty of water when exercising.

Some physical activities to try:

  • Take a walk together.
  • Do simple tasks around the house, such as sweeping
    and raking.
  • Work in the garden.
  • Play music and dance.
  • Exercise with videos made for older people. Try the
    sample workout on NIA’s free Go4Life DVD.
  • Throw a soft rubber exercise ball back and forth.
  • Lift weights or household items such as soup cans.
  • Use resistance bands, which you can buy in sporting
    goods stores. Be sure to follow the instructions.

Quick Tip

  • Try being active together.
    Physical activity and
    exercise are good for
    caregivers, too!


  • Read more tips for
    adding physical activity
    to your day.
  • Print useful tools.
  • Order a free exercise DVD.
  • Share your exercise story.

National Institute on Aging
National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Go4Life is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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March 5, 2013 8:42 pm

These are great tips! Thank you for sharing. The Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation has done a number of studies over the past 20 years that show physical and mental activities help with overall brain health. Check out our research results at

February 16, 2023 5:06 pm

If it’s good for the heart, it’s good for the head.

B. Berger

B. Berger

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