A small study published online through Psychoneuroendocrinology, has suggested that regular exercise helps reduce the stress levels of people caring for relatives with Alzheimer’s or other dementia.
The study goes on to say that regular exercise can also improve the caregivers long-term health.
So there you have it – the ImpactHD app can help carers as well as gene positive and symptomatic individuals!
It’s not anything too strenuous but it is difficult to find the time, according to the study 40 minutes of aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) three times a week.
The importance of helping family caregivers is an increasing issue among communities, studies are showing that family caregivers are at significantly higher risk of developing heart disease.
The team at the University of British Columbia recruited 68 caregivers, aged 50 to 75 from San Francisco Bay area, who were providing at least 10 hours of unpaid care.
To determine eligibility for the study, they were each given a screening questionnaire to determine their levels of stress and exercise routines (or lack there of).
The tools provided to them during the study included free access to a gym, being assigned a fitness coach, whom they met with weekly as well as weekly reminders to exercise.
Understanding the results
It’s important to remember that the testing group only included a small amount of caregivers and were mostly older Caucasian women. Had the study been more comprehensive, it’s difficult to know whether that would have affected the study.
Where can I read more?
You can read a short abstract on the study on the Psychoneuroendocrinology website.
Or read up on tools for caring for YOURSELF as a caregiver through the Family Caregiver Alliance.