Parkinson's Movement

Vigorous exercise instructions from Dr. Daniel Corcos

After a couple of posts related to Dr. Corcos recent study showing that vigorous exercise at 80-85% maximum heart rate slows or stops PD progression (at least for the duration of the study which I believe was 6 months), I contacted Dr. Corcos by email to get more specific instructions. I heard back almost immediately, so kind of him, here's what he says:

1) Warm up for 5 minutes.

2) Keep your heart rate at 80-85% max heart rate for 30 minutes. One option is a treadmill on which you can increase speed or incline.

3) Warm down for 5 minutes.

This should be done continuously.

It may take you a few weeks to be able to hold 80-85% max heart rate.

I wish you well – best regards – Daniel

I hope this is useful for others, it is for me...

14 Replies
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Great information

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How do you know what 80 to 85% max heart rate is?

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Max heart rate is 220- (your age).

In my case my maximum heart rate would be 220-58=162.

85% would be 162 x .85=137.7

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Thank you for the info! Mine is 130.

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Thanks. I was wondering what the duration at the ideal heart rate was.

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This is very good news. I have been telling the Pd world, since 2003, that energetic exercise can and does help to slow down the progression of Pd. This is not necessarily good news for everybody, because many of us have problems with doing exercise.

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Good Job - you must compose persuasive letters! Another report further elaborated, "they walked at a speed and incline that kept their heart rate at 80-85 percent of their maximum."

It went on to describe an adjustment to the original "four-times-a-week exercise program" stating that, "people in both exercise groups dropped down to an average of three (rather than four) exercise sessions when they were doing it on their own (after the first couple of weeks of the study)."

So, ideally: 30 min. workout session 3-4x p/wk with pace/incline that elicits 80-85% of max heart rate. Source: minnpost.com/second-opinion...

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No, no persuasive letter, just an email asking for the info. It was really nice to get a response from him.

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Is it any kind of cardio exercise?

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Yes, any kind of cardio that gets heart rate up to 80-85% of max and is sustained at least 30 min 3-4 times per week.

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Very helpful, thanks! What a nice doctor to respond so quickly and compassionately.

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For people who find this discussion I would simply add that I have a home treadmill that comes with a bluetooth heart rate monitor. I performed my own test to find my max heart rate and found that it varied considerably from what the formula predicted. I am 51 so the formula says 220-51=169 so 80% would have been 135, but it turns my max was 155 so 80% was 124. For me that's the difference between running at 6 mph or walking on an incline at 3.5 mph

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How did you find your maximum heart rate?

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Unless you are a regular runner you shouldn't try this without a doctor, but essentially you start slowly and ramp up your speed on a treadmill for 10 minutes until you get to a moderate level (moderate for you) which for most people will be a heart rate between 100 and 120. Then you increase your speed every 15 secs until your heart rate stops rising. Obviously you need a tread mill and a heart rate monitor to do this. You should hit your max in under 2 minutes once you start ramping up.

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