Exercise to manage dementia


Dementia is a chronic disease that impacts over 400,000 people nationally.  Over 50% of people living in residential care are living with dementia.


Researchers around the world have proven, that one of the most effective ways to live a long healthy life is by exercising regularly.


Matt Osman, Exercise Physiologist from the Vario Clinic, Edith Cowan University,  explains that people who don’t exercise are at higher risk for many different kinds of chronic diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease. Inactivity can also worsen arthritis symptoms, increase lower-back pain and add to the risks of experiencing depression or anxiety.


“As we age, our skeletal muscles, which are the fibres anchored to our bones and tendons that enable both motion and force production, are integral to how we function. If we don’t take care of these muscles, which start to could start to deteriorate as young as age 25-30 years old, we’re at risk of injury, as well as a range of problems from incontin­ence to weak bones to increased risk for falls, which can impact independence and quality of life particularly in those aged over 65”, explains Matt.


The good news is that it’s never too late to start exercising. Walking, swimming and strength training are great exercise options for seniors, but if you’re not sure then speak to a health or fitness professional for advice on the best type of exercise to suit you.


At our Southern Plus East Fremantle Health and Wellness Centre, our Exercise Physiologists are fully trained and accredited and will work with you to develop programs that suit your condition. Whether you are new to exercise or are managing a chronic disease like dementia, our team are here to help.


Give us a call today on (08) 6424 7443 or visit us on southernplus.org.au/healthwellnesscentre/exercise-physiology/



Article by Matt Osman, Exercise Physiologist, Southern Plus East Fremantle


Dementia Australia 2019, ECU Vario Clinic, 2019