Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

HABIT Healthy Action to Benefit Independence & Thinking

Welcome to the HABIT page for people living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and program participants.  The HABIT Program is for individuals with MCI and their loved ones to learn the best strategies for adapting, coping, and living their best lives with MCI.

Follow the HABIT page to receive updates and information about adjusting to MCI and combating dementia. Our goal is to connect you with others and provide you with information and support.

Mar 31, 2020

Staying Physically Active During a Time Of Social Distancing

By Pauline Lucas, @paulinehlucas


Right now, when we are encouraged to avoid physical closeness with people besides those living with us, your regular workout routine may have been disrupted. Perhaps your main activity was a regular group exercise class or being part of a pickle ball team, and now with gym closures and other recommended practices of social distancing, these options are not currently available.

Although it might seem like a good plan to just postpone exercise for a while, we strongly discourage you from stopping physical activity, unless you are ill. There are many scientifically proven benefits to exercise including stress reduction, improved mood, better sleep, better immune function, and stronger bones and muscles to name a few.  Especially during times like these, we urge you to get creative with ways to stay active, and check out the resources listed in this blog.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has the following exercise recommendations for adults: at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio-vascular exercise per week, twice a week strengthening most major muscle groups, stretching, and balance exercises. For older adults with limitations or chronic conditions, the recommendation would be: do what you can safely do, even if it doesn’t quite meet the recommendation.

Ideas for exercise:

  • Walk: Walking is an ideal form of exercise. If you can walk outside and maintain social distancing, that would be best; otherwise, you might consider walking in your home. This can be walking in place (to the beat of your favorite music), walking the length of your home, or walking along with a free YouTube video like this one 1 mile walk or 3 mile walk. Make sure to find your own best pace.
  • Cardio-equipment: If you are fortunate to have cardio equipment in your home, make sure to use it most or all days of the week.
  • Dance: Turn on some music and dance in the living room. Invite your partner if you share your living space with them.
  • Yoga: yoga has the benefit of not only providing you with physical exercise, but has the additional advantage of providing you with skills to calm your mind. Try this Gentle Yoga example from Mayo Clinic.

Also consider some of these reputable websites with additional information on staying active during this time:  (Staying active during the corona virus pandemic) Advice from the National Council on Aging-for older adults. 4 exercise videos ranging from 10-60 minutes, specifically geared to older adults (National Council on Aging)

Join Mayo Clinic Connect's virtual walking group: Let’s Go Walking! Join me for a virtual walking support group


Id like to add to this if you dont mind . For those who live in a senior building and like our are advice by our owner to stay in your apt . the exercise you can do is chair exercise on you tube there are great people who share the chair exercise programs. ONe is Jackie Talley and there is one that you can sit or stand to do these exercise they are total body and cardio exercise . As for walking just walk in place


Wow how I needed this right about now. I have the additional complication of being terribly allergic at a time when our pollen count is high. As much as I enjoy walking, I just can't do it now. In the past, allergy symptoms have turned into sinus infection – and I just can't risk this now. But OK @paulinehlucas – you have guilted me into making a commitment that I will drag out the exercise bike tomorrow. Thanks!

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