walking briskly, can help to improve the symptoms of Parkinson's disease

The walking sessions met the definition of moderate intensity aerobic exercise, with the average walking speed approximately 2.9 miles per hour ....45-minute sessions of moderate intensity walking, three times a week....

The researchers found that the brisk walking sessions resulted in the following improvements:

◾Motor function and mood: 15% improvement

◾ Attention/response control: 14% improvement

◾Tiredness: 11% reduction

◾Aerobic fitness and gait speed: 7% increase.

In the motor functioning tests, there was an average improvement of 2.8 points among the participants, a score that is deemed to be a clinically important difference.

Study author Dr. Ergun Y. Uc, of the University of Iowa in Iowa City and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center of Iowa City, says that results suggest "walking may provide a safe and easily accessible way of improving the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and quality of life."


9 Replies

  • Nordic walking even better: upright stance, lengthens stride, flexes the spine. all round workout.

  • Cross country ski simulators are even better because there is no impact from heel strike that can produce pain from arthritic joints.

  • Many who have had reconstructive surgery find this system a great way to regain their strength, mobility and confidence.

  • I take your point Etterus but if you don't have arthritis you can't beat , a nice walk in the British countryside even if you don't do the power walking stuff which I'm certainly not up to at the moment Actually the two poles take a significant amount of strain off the knees and hips and also help with balance.

  • I agree with you about outdoor walks... makes it much more uplifting. Nordic poles help me downhill more then up.

  • I've been walking 3 X week for about a year now, and have regained some swing in my left arm that I hadn't had in many years, no longer have problems with left leg drag and a larger stride. Also more energy. The only thing that hasn't improved is my tremors. In fact, I've begun to have quicker wearing off of my carbidopa-levodopa in the past 6 months and was started on comtan 3 days ago.

  • Exercise is a great benefit for people with PD. I have been benefitting from the non-contact, boxing-inspired program at rocksteadyboxing.org for eight years. This program offers intensity levels for each individual's potential. The core strength and aerobic fitness from working at your max potential is beneficial and empowering.

  • This sounds similar to results from bicycling, except that cycling is sometimes doable even by Parkies who have trouble walking.

  • parkinson.org/Parkinson-s-D...

    •A review of 14 studies on treadmill training found that three studies show an immediate effect of increased walking speed, longer stride length and improved balance as early as after one treadmill session. Longer-term trials, numbering 11 in all, demonstrated not only safety, but positive benefits in gait speed, strike length and related quality of life even several weeks later.

    •And at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Alberts et al. found that when people with Parkinson’s pedaled on a stationery bike 30% faster than their preferred “voluntary” rate (or forced exertion), they not only gained in aerobic fitness, but also showed improvement in motor function and coordination as well as manual dexterity. This improvement was retained some weeks after the exercise stopped.

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