A Look At How Exercise Can Benefit People With Parkinson's

Posted on: 8 March 2017

While exercise won't stop the effects of Parkinson's disease, it can certainly help with mobility. There's also a good possibility that exercise can slow down some of the physical symptoms of Parkinson's as well. Here's a look at how exercise can help with Parkinson's and which exercises may work best for people who suffer from this disease.

How Exercise Helps People with Parkinson's

Exercise benefits the body in general, no matter the person's health status. In fact, regular exercise can help to prevent the onset of Parkinson's to begin with. Those that already suffer from the disease can still use exercise to help them in a number of ways.

  • Keep stiffness at bay
  • Improve mobility
  • Improve and maintain flexibility
  • Improve balance
  • Keep supporting muscles healthy and strong
  • Reduce severity of symptoms
  • Maintain independence

Before embarking on any exercise routine, you should speak about it with your doctor. He or she will likely suggest you start building your exercise routine by first seeing a physical therapist.

Which Exercises Work Best for People with Parkinson's?

Honestly, just about any exercise will help you. As long as your body's moving, you will reap some benefits. You should have a regular routine that you adhere to, but it's okay to switch it up, as long as you're doing something. You should work on three things.

1. FlexibilityStretching, and exercises that involve stretching, can help you maintain your flexibility. You should stretch before any other exercise anyway. So make stretching a part of your routine.

2. Cardiovascular - Cardio-based exercises include just about any activity that gets you moving.

  • Walking
  • Dancing
  • Cycling
  • Martial arts
  • Swimming

Activities that involve controlled movements can help a lot. Yoga, Tai Chi, and light boxing can give you a full workout without overtaxing your body.

3. Strength training – Keeping your muscles in good condition goes a long way towards keeping your movements fluid and in check. Combining strength or resistance training with your cardio can help you a great deal. Just by exercising, you'll gain strength, so you don't always have to do anything extra.

Getting Started With Exercise

Your doctor will help you figure out where to start. A physical therapist at a clinic like Physical Therapy Institute can lay out a personal plan for you and monitor your progress. Remember that you want to make exercise a part of your daily life. Because of that, it's best to find exercises and activities you actually enjoy. Try a few different things, and see which exercises move you.