Brisk Walking May Help Curb Parkinson's Symptoms

07/02/2014 04:00 PM EDT

Study found it improved gait, stiffness, mood, attention and overall quality of life

nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/new...

"The benefits of exercise that apply to a normal, healthy person are even greater in Parkinson's disease because it also affects the symptoms of the disease. A person with Parkinson's will get all the benefits that a normal, healthy person does, plus it will modify the symptoms of their disease," said Dr. Daniel Corcos, a professor of physical therapy and human movement sciences at Northwestern University in Chicago. Corcos was not involved in the new study.

On the second round of testing, participants showed significant improvements in their aerobic fitness. They were also able to walk more quickly and with better balance. And, they experienced less stiffness than they had before the study started, the study authors noted.

In addition, some measures of brain function improved. The participants performed better on a test that gauges how well people can direct their attention. With regard to mood, the patients also reported less fatigue and depression, and a more positive outlook on life.

5 Replies

oldestnewest
  • I would like to know what stage of the disease the sample group was in,how bad where their symptoms before they started the exercising. How long had it been since diagnosis, and how many people were in the study. What stage was their Diease in just prior to beginning the study. In other words how bad off were the subjects of this study?

  • From the Link above given by Roy

    The new study, published online July 2 in the journal Neurology, involved 60 Parkinson's disease patients between the ages of 50 and 80. All were in the early stages of the disease. They were living independently, had no signs of dementia or other serious health problems, and could walk without the aid of a cane or walker while on their regular medications.

    The researchers asked all the participants to walk three times a week, wearing a heart rate monitor to make sure they were striding at a moderately intense pace. They started with sessions of 15 minutes and gradually worked up to walking 45 minutes at a time.

    The study defined moderate intensity as a heart rate that was at least 70 percent of the maximum heart rate for a person's age. For most people, that meant they were working in the range of 104 to 111 beats per minute.

    "This means that the participants were breaking a sweat but not working to the level of exhaustion," explained study author Dr. Ergun Uc, a neurologist with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City.

    Researchers tested the patients' physical and mental function before the study began and then six months after people had started their walking programs.

    On the second round of testing, participants showed significant improvements in their aerobic fitness. They were also able to walk more quickly and with better balance. And, they experienced less stiffness than they had before the study started, the study authors noted.

  • Yes it's true. Helps to have a teacher, coach, or running buddy. Yesterday in movement class we trotted around the gym !

  • Hi RoyProp. You are not posing a question but giving information, which I heartily endorse. More people should read this. Thank you.

    John

  • 6 years with PD / 6 years at yoga 56 yrs old exercise has helped more than meds fortunate to have an early diagnosis lol but to being introduced to yoga at the same time. Keeping moving , will yourself to stay active . I believe WE can win the fight.

You may also like...