Activity and movement are important throughout the progression of the disease.
In the early stages of the disease, it is a case of preserving all the activities that the patient used to do and where the patient is still able to perform the routines.
Examples of this would be fast walking, Nordic walking, using an exercise bicycle or taking part in exercise sessions as before. Walks in the forest are also a good exercise as they activate several senses at the same time.
It is most enjoyable of all to do this with friends. Changes of routine should be avoided when possible, and it is important to establish an everyday activity rhythm – for example, by ensuring that exercise is done at the same time and in the same place so the patient is familiar with the surroundings.
Gradually, the targets for physical activity will change and it becomes a case of maintaining and safeguarding the patient’s existing physical resources. The aim is to maintain the patient’s current capacity.
In time, a more guided form of activity will be needed and this will mean a great deal for the person’s well-being. Do the exercise at the same time each day, ideally in the same place. Familiarity is important. Here are some suggestions for how to exercise together.
- Each of you should sit on your own chair facing one another while holding each other’s hands. Stand up together and then sit back down in the chair again. Repeat five times. This can be done several times a day. This trains the muscles of the hips and thighs as well as balance and coordination.
- Stand up and support yourself using your hands against the back of the chair. Raise a foot and hold it up for 20 seconds, or as long as you can manage. Repeat five times for each leg. This also trains the muscles of the leg and their balance.
- Sit down on the chair and exercise the muscles of the hand, which quickly weaken with increasing age. Place a soft ball in each hand and squeeze it many times. Repeat several times daily.