Exercise is good for the body and mind. That's why 76-year-old Joe Garceau of Negaunee exercises frequently. He has the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease.
"Well I'm sure it's progressing, but I haven't felt it a lot. Maybe my memory is probably not as good, but I'm 76, so that's part of it," said Garceau laughing.
Garceau says that his active lifestyle in and out of the gym helps him fight it off. He often works out at the YMCA of Marquette County, where he participates in the LiveWise Program. The weekly sessions include exercise, social interaction and guest speakers from the Alzheimer's Association. Officials say the exercise increases focus, concentration, and awareness to fight Alzheimer's.
"We can't reverse it, but it's helping slow down the process as much as we can through a positive experience. I mean, everyone has fun," said Meagan Hennekens, Wellness Leader at the YMCA.
On Facebook, when asked about other healthy brain habits, Matt Swan said, "Not just exercise, but also eating healthier. Brain can't function well without proper nutrition."
As for Garceau, he's not worried about his case of Alzheimer's, but he plans to keep up his regular exercise schedule.
"I have it. I accept it, and what these people do for us is wonderful," Garceau said.
Garceau first joined the LiveWise Program about 20 weeks ago, and says it been one of the best experiences of his life.
To learn more about the YMCA's LiveWise program and how to get involved, call the "Y" at (906) 227-9622. There are currently 16 participants in the program, all with early Alzheimer's Disease. Many come with caregivers. Classes began just last fall. They last about an hour and a half each.