We ask people about how they keep well, whether they have dementia or not. This time, we hear about swimming and enjoying the water.
Rebecca Morris in Conwy
I like to go for a swim in the sea as often as possible. It allows my mind to wander and be free – once I’ve gotten used to the cold shock!
I try to go at least once a week. I try to go with my husband so he can keep an eye on me and our two dogs, although they rarely keep me company in the water.
I used to swim a lot as a child with seaside holidays. The water makes me happy and reminds me of family time.
The cold water sharpens my mind and keeps me focused. It also tires me out and gives me a good workout. It’s also free!
Nikki Willcock in Berkshire
Not swimming or being in water but being near water – sitting near the river and watching the boats, rowers and ducks. I try to go once per week with my father, and his carers do the same.
My father had sailing boats when he was younger in Devon and Cornwall.
He fondly remembers those days and sitting by the river evokes those memories. He can talk quite happily for ages about the days on the boats. Having a focus of attention brings back lovely memories.
Kristian Graham in County Down
I wasn’t a regular swimmer, though when I was a lot younger I used to swim competitively. On a weekly basis, me and my son used to go to the pool, but I heard about Swim for Dementia and thought I’d give it a go.
I set my own target to swim 50km in one month – a couple of days in, I thought, ‘What have I taken on here?’ But seeing my time improve was a good motivator.
There’s been a few people I had no idea were affected by dementia who’ve said, ‘I’m glad you’re doing it.’
I finished the challenge and raised £1,125 for Alzheimer’s Society, but I’ll still be swimming four days a week – it’s an addictive thing!
Karen Redparth in Surrey
I enjoy swimming weekly with my partner and child, and more often in the summer. I also like paddle boarding and being on the beach when holidaying. I’ve always loved swimming and anything to do with the water.
The benefits include fitness – which also helps with my asthma – making friends, being out in the fresh air, and feeling chilled away from life’s stresses.
Your age and genes affect your risk of developing dementia, but you can’t change them.
Things you can change include keeping your mind and body active, enjoying healthier food, not smoking, drinking less alcohol, staying in touch with people, and dealing with any health problems.
If you already have dementia, the same things can help you to stay healthy and well.
NHS Live Well has health and wellbeing advice for everyone.