Weight training benefits Parkinson's Sufferers

I came across this old article today that I found very interesting. I noticed that when I was lifting (light) weights earlier in the year I felt less shaky. (Unfortunately I had to stop doing it because I pulled something in my back! My joints are often a problem due to EDS... :( )

Anyway, I wondered if anybody had seen this before, or had noticed a connection between weight lifting and their Parkinson's symptoms.


9 Replies

  • It says:

    "The neuromuscular system responds to overload."

    This is interesting. So we have to really tax our neuromuscular system. @JohnPepper, do you think that's why fast-walking might work so well for you?

  • I truly believe that exercise is the best way to slow the progression. I have been doing yoga at least 3 times a week, a weight lifting regimen, and other exercises (elliptical trainer). I have been doing this for the last four years. I started before I was diagnosed (12/2012) because I felt something was amiss but I had a hard time convincing my GP until I insisted on seeing a movement specialist. He put me on Sinemet, Azilect, and Requip (Ropinorol). I have not had to increase my dosage, in fact I have recently lowered the dosage of Requip. Nobody can tell I have PD. The best form of exercise I've found is yoga. It helps stretching, muscle building and balance. Do I believe that yoga and exercise is a cure? No. I know that the disease is marching on. All I'm trying to do is slow it up a little bit. To be honest with you I wish I had discovered yoga a lot earlier. I have never felt this good, mentally and physically. Try it out, but commit yourself and stick to it.

    It becomes addicting after a few months.

  • I'm part of a study that has proven clinically that exercise of all kinds slows the progression (not cures) of PD . If anyone is interested, I can provide the references. In the meantime, move it any way you can. Find a program with other pwp's -- more fun. In fact, nothing else IS neuroprotective. Have fun.

  • I truly believe that exercise is the best way to slow the PD progressing. I have been doing yoga at least 5 times a week, and other exercises (Trampolin jumping) 4 times a week. I have been doing physical exercises since I was diagnoised. I was diagnosed for PD in Feb 2003.

    I was put on Syndopa 110, Inderal and Parkintane / Traphane. The dosage increased with each visit to the neurologist. I discussed this with my neurologist and informed him in Aug 2005 that I had reduced marginally the dosage, he cautioned me but as my body language supported it I continued reducing each month till, by Feb 2005 I was off all medications. This has continued for last 9 years and no one can tell I have PD. Except for tremors in right hand there are no symptoms

    The best form of exercise I've found is yoga. It helps stretching, and balance. Do I believe that yoga and exercise is a cure? Even if it does not cure it slows down the progress. I started yoga only in 2010 and ever since. I have felt good, mentally and physically. However you have to commit and stick to it. It becomes addictive after a few months.

  • Thank you Kanu for your comments on exercise. I firmly believe that it is a great help and hope to stay off meds by doing a lot of exercise. I think you infer that Yoga is the best form to commit to and I can understand but which form of Yoga, Ienga or some other kind? I am also not using medications and hope I can follow this course...9 months since diagnosis and a year and a half since noticing tremors which have increased somewhat but not yet noticeable I am told. Let me know whaat form of Yoga you do.

  • Thanks for all of your answers. I'm so glad that exercise is such a great thing in Parkinson's. I need to find a form of exercise and stick to it! It's amazing that some of you have been able to reduce your medications, or move off them completely. This is very valuable information. Thank you.

  • I do weights as part of the strength training in my boxing training, The combination suits me and I have gone an hour over tablet time on occasion - not a goal per se, so I have never tried to measure it over a period

  • It appears that any exercise gives positive results in PD. However, it appears that "forced exercise" where one is pushed outside one's comfort zone gets better results. As well, forced, ''COMPLICATED'' exercise is even better. "Complicated'' means more than one set of muscles are used simultaneously..eg cycling is using mainly the legs, whereas boxing (non-contact) uses co-ordination of simultaneous head, torso, arms, legs etc movement, requires balance (uses proprioreceptors) and physical fitness. This drastically increases the neuro-plasticity of the brain and the PwP is rewarded with reduction in symptoms which allows day to day tasks to be made easier. In USA there is the Rock Steady Boxing program. Here in Australia we call it the Punchin' Parko's. I have been doing boxing since I was 50, 8 years before I was diagnosed. I still work out about 5 times a week for 1 to 2 hours each session (with some breaks). I attribute my mobility etc to doing this BUT I still take my medications as prescribed as well. Exercise is not a substitute for medications. It is adjunct therapy. It appears the sooner a PwP begins an exercise program after diagnosis, the better the results. Exercise is not a cure for PD. But if you make it fun and enjoy doing it, you will reap the rewards. And before engaging in any exercise program, have your doctor give you the OK and note what exercises, if any, you should avoid. Your trainer should be notified of these no-no"s. The doctor may indicate what exercises you do need as well. Inform your trainer of these. Make it fun!

  • Yes, I have been diagnosed for 5 years and through positive attitude and exercise with weights and cardio vascular exercises, I have reduced my meds by almost half.

You may also like...