Like most people, you probably started the new year off with resolutions and goals. Also, like most, one goal was undoubtedly to work out more. Regardless of whether your goal to work out is to lose weight or build muscles and strength, working out is one thing in life that it is hard to get motivated for, but once done, you feel so much better.
Exercising and working out can keep several diseases and illnesses away. It can strengthen your heart and lungs and keep issues like diabetes and high blood pressure minimized. In Parkinson’s disease patients, there are several reasons why you should consider exercising.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a nervous system disorder that is progressive and affects movement. It can start as hand tremors, stiffness, and slower movements. It can cause slurred speaking, and arms may not swing when walking. In most cases, individuals with Parkinson’s disease experience worsening symptoms over time.
Why is Regular Exercise Good for a Person with Parkinson’s Disease?
The truth is, working out is good for everybody. As stated above, it helps keep certain diseases at bay, helps with weight loss, is a mood stimulator, and even helps with brain function.
For people who have Parkinson disease, it does all that and more. Exercise is known to improve Parkinson’s symptoms, such as balance and mobility, constipation, slows the degeneration of brain cells and depression. Working out cannot replace medication, but it has been proven to help patients manage Parkinson disease symptoms.
Some other benefits of working out for Parkinson patients are:
Improvement to focus and concentration
Lessening of depression and anxiety
Better gait and balance
Better motor coordination
Helps reduce falls
Improvement to working memory and decision making
What Exercises Are Good for a Person with Parkinson’s Disease?
Although these workouts may be safe for most people, check with a doctor before beginning any workout program.
According to the Parkinson’s Disease Clinic and Research Center, the University of California exercises done by Parkinson’s patients should include various impulsive movements, strength training, and rhythmical activities. Some of those include dancing, walking, jogging, badminton, cycling, boxing, dancing, aerobic, marching with arms swinging, and swimming.
Below are some simple stretches that can help with mobility and stiffness.
The Hamstring Stretch:
Hamstring stretches help Parkinson’s patients maintain the length of muscles in the back of the legs.
1. Sit up straight, bend at the hip, and work to reach as far forward toward your toe as possible.
2. Hold for 30 seconds before going to the other leg.
The Butterfly Stretch:
Butterfly stretches help Parkinson’s patients stretch the front of their shoulder joints and maintain good upright posture by strengthening the upper back muscles.
1. Sit straight and place your hands behind your head and your elbows to each side.
2. Slowly bring your elbows toward the front of your face at the same time.
3. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat five times, at least twice daily.
The Standing Arm Lift:
The standing arm lift helps Parkinson’s patients with the flexibility of their shoulder joints.
1. Begin in a standing position with feet slightly apart with hands to your sides and thumbs pointing upward.
2. Raise both arms/hands as high as you can.
3. Hold for 10 seconds before lowering hands.
How Does Exercise Manage Parkinson Disease Symptoms?
Working out is not a replacement for medicine for Parkinson’s patients. But, working out does boost brain activity, which is responsible for movement in Parkinson’s patients. In other words, working out makes symptoms progress slower in Parkinson’s patients.
As stated above, working out cannot replace scientific therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease, but it can do wonders for improving symptoms and enhance life for the Parkinson’s patient.