Exercise: What works best?: Pedaling... - Parkinson's Movement

Parkinson's Movement

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Exercise: What works best?


Pedaling for PD with Jay Alberts PhD - Where it began, 7 yrs ago (ABC News, 1:54min): abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/pa...

Pedaling for PD with Jay Alberts - 2017 (NBC News, 2:02 min):


PubMed study "therapeutic efficacy of high-rate exercise in PD" (by Jay Alberts et al): ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/264...

26 Replies

Any thing you find enjoyable and will want to do constantly. I walked away from the Big Program with the understanding of what the professionals were trying to do but I have not done any of those exercises in years. BECAUSE THEY ARE BORING.

Agreed. At the halfway point of the most recent vdo, J. Alberts concludes that "exercise is medicine" (regardless of form) and works by increasing "certain proteins in the brain that help movement and cognitive function". This science-backed study is posted simply to add some balance to one fellow's daft notion that one particular form of exercise is superior to others (not supported by science). As stated before, the 'best' exercise is one you can commit to do on a regular basis.

QNTT in reply to PDConscience

It may not be ONE exercise that is most beneficial for PD, but the exercise needs to qualify with some criteria that specifically trigger biochemical changes that help with PD symptoms, or possibly slow or stop progression.

We know bicycling is one, and Fast Walking -Trade Mark JP :)

I found what I am willing to do regularly, and also gets me out the house, riding the Segway, a 2 wheel self balancing electric "scooter" .

You say that's not exercise ? Try it ! It wipes me out, but once I start I ride for hours, till the battery runs out sometimes. The riding position is standing up, so I use energy, but don't think it helps with PD.

Bicycle riding also wipes me out, but not looking forward to ride it again like the Segway.

Well said - I find motivation to exercise really difficult. Given the choice I'd far rather lie in my hammock than go for a sweaty walk/bike ride.

And anyone pushing their particular form of exercise to the exclusion of all others is just too fanatical to take seriously.

QNTT in reply to partypants

For us that can NOT find the magical form of exercise that helps with PD we need a biochemical approach that is safe and produces the effects of exercise, simple in defining it but illusive to obtain.

park_bear in reply to partypants

Finding something you actually *like* to do is the key. For me it's out scrambling up and down desert rock in my outdoor playground.

I always talk about Crossfit. It is a very demanding program that I enjoy.

Enjoy being the most important word.

I'm amazed that some people don't exercise because it's boring. How boring is a wheelchair? You have choices. "Enjoy " is not the operative word. When it works and you have your life back, you'll enjoy it.

QNTT in reply to NanCyclist

You are lucky, my guess is you are addicted to exercise, and that is a VERY good thing.

Your body triggers endogenous - feel good - substances and its win win, you exercise and treat PD at the same time.

We are all different, and while I can exercise once in a while, I see it as a chore. It would be part of my regular routine IF it was pleasant also.

jeffreyn in reply to QNTT

I do 40 mins of high-cadence cycling first thing every morning,

I do it for EXACTLY the reason that Nan just explained.

I listen to news/current affairs on the radio to help the time pass quickly.

QNTT in reply to jeffreyn

So stationary bike then ?

There are so many on the market dunno how to select !

Also afraid its gonna be another boat anchor in the house I don't use .

NanCyclist in reply to QNTT

Select a bike that is comfortable and that has a cadence meter. You need to cycle at 80-90 rpm to make a difference. It will only be a boat anchor if you choose to make it so.

jeffreyn in reply to QNTT

Yes, stationary bike. I bought one (for about $200) that has magnetic resistance. It is very quiet.

The bike has lots of possible readouts, but the only one I use is the timer. I check my cadence every now and then by counting the number of times my right foot goes around in a 20 second period, and then multiply by 3 to give me the cadence (RPM).

I have a second bike (about $50) which is very small and has no seat and no handlebars. I have it placed on a desk/table and I use it for "arm cycling".

I follow John Pepper's advice of not exercising the same muscle group 2 days in a row. I do leg-cycling one day, arm-cycling the next.

Doing the exercise first thing every morning has a couple of things going for it:

- it just becomes part of your daily routine (like eating breakfast);

- after it's done, you then have the whole morning, whole afternoon, and whole evening, to do other things.

NanCyclist in reply to QNTT

I am NOT addicted to exercise. I suspect I AM addicted to my PD meds but that's the way that goes. I am terrified of living a life without meaning, without being able to play with my grandchildren, enjoy activities with my husband, cast a fly to a rising fish, appreciate the flowers as they bloom through their cycles, in short, engage in life rather than watch from the sidelines. Exercise, not just any exercise, but that which is proven to be effective with PD, is the means to the ends I seek. There are many days I have to kick myself to get on the bike or get out the door, but at least I still have the choice and I choose a life worth living.

park_bear in reply to NanCyclist

I agree people should not be tossing the "addict" term around casually. Addiction refers to compulsive behavior that is *damaging*. Exercise does not qualify.

QNTT in reply to park_bear

I qualified my description with a word in caps :

"You are lucky, my guess is you are addicted to exercise, and that is a VERY good thing."

What else can I do to show intention, or like that timeless philosopher George Carlin said, CONTEXT !

I will let him defend me with a 2 min video:


park_bear in reply to QNTT

LOL! Peace, brutha. Gotta go tend to my addiction.

I agree I exercise by horse riding I school my horses or hack out sometimes I can barely tack up but once I'm in the saddle I feel normal and can ride for hours. Mine is not addiction to exercise but fear of ending up in a wheelchair I muck out and do all the stable chores I have great upper body strength I can arm wrestle and win. If you dont exercise PD will chop your legs from under you and once you've lost muscle mass you will find it hard to get it back so get out of the hammock and move !!!

Exercise is what people 70 years ago called making a living. When i started working i did dry wall finishing i was 17 and had a body that would shame Adonis. I was 6 ft 2 190 pounds 10% body fat. Worked 12 hours a day 6 days a week I kept that that body till i was 35 when i started a office job.

That is why i am in good shape now. When i started crossfit my muscle mass came back. The problem with people now they have lost muscle mass due to inactivity over their life time. You don't get it back.

My wife has decided that the best exercise accomplishes 2 things.


sorry, you asked


Okay, you've won me. I'm ready for one of those!

Benefits of exercise

Makes all muscle stronger and harder and i mean "all".

You can do everything longer with less effort.

Sleep better and longer.

Will stop joint pain.

Feel better all over.

Help control and reverse aging.

Reduce wrinkles.

Reduce stress.

Improve appetite

Help constipation.

Less visits to doctor.

Less mrds.

Help save you love one when they need cpr (been there did that but my father in law died any way).

Stop some one from hurting you because you can kick their butt.

Saved me when i was strong enough to stand up to a mugger.

Make you fastet

List can go for ever.

PS the first 2 lines are about sex just in case you forgot what that is. LOL

As a retired PT with PD for 15 years, I agree that the most effective program is that which you enjoy. Otherwise it's perceived as punishment and will fail. That said, it should be including a variety of activities such as aerobics (stat bike), stretching, balance, and strengthening. Try to vary it to keep your interest plus add an effective mediator; music is the best for me.

Rock Steady Boxing is challenging physically and mentally, and a lot of fun. I have muscles I never had before, and enjoy the group of people. I've been exercising daily for 3 years now (since first symptoms) and wouldn't give it up for the world. I don't always enjoy it, but I always do it. It makes the rest of my day better -- more alert, sharper, more energy, happier. I've also had a lot of depression and anxiety (long before PD) so it's good medicine for that too, I can start the day a bit down but by the end of exercise I'm feeling better. Once you get started and make it a habit, it gets much easier.

I am 56 , diagnosis 8 years ago, joined the gym 1 year ago , attend 4 times a week, better results than any meds, only side effects lost 20lbs .. in particular the bike works for me

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