The results of staying active and exercising throughout aging are fantastic, but for persons with Parkinson’s, it may truly be a game-changer regarding the progression associated with the disease. Several studies are revealing direct links between physical activity and Parkinson’s, such as the largest clinical study up to now, in which patients who exercised a minimum of 2½ hours each week achieved a higher overall well-being than those who refrained from physical activity. And that’s just the beginning.
The onset of Parkinson’s symptoms happens following a loss in the brain cells that produce dopamine. Experts believe that exercise helps the mind to rebuild lost connections, form new ones, and keep maintaining those that continue to be in place. Additional research has revealed:
- Gains were realized in stride length, gait speed and balance following treadmill exercise – after as little as only one session, and lasting for several weeks afterwards.
- Motor function and coordination were enhanced in those who pedaled at a faster rate on a stationary bike – again, with results lasting for weeks after the study ended.
- Recognizable improvements regarding the normalcy of movement were noticed in those with Parkinson’s who engaged in a routine workout program when compared with those that did not.
It’s important to mention that final results achieved were reliant upon consistent, ongoing exercise. The scientific tests reported that any protective benefits realized were discontinued once the amount and intensity of exercise was reduced or was implemented for only a short period of time. The necessary criteria for sustainable results seem to be just like those necessary to help those who’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury or stroke: intensity, specificity, difficulty and complexity.
Additional scientific studies are underway to hone in further on the advantages of physical exercise in people that have Parkinson’s disease, as well as the precise reasoning behind it. For the time being, in the event your loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it’s certainly advantageous to talk to his or her primary care physician for a recommended exercise regimen.
For help with safe, dependable transportation and accompaniment to a doctor’s appointment or workout program, or encouragement and motivation to take part in a regular exercise program at home, call Live Well at Home at 916-459-3220 or 209-883-6064. Our professional in-home respite care in Roseville, CA is available to improve quality of life for those with Parkinson’s disease, or any other condition of aging. Contact us for more information.