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Parkinson's Movement
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Waiting for a Magic Pill

By now, most of us are familiar with multiple studies which have consistently demonstrated that high intensity exercise slows or perhaps even STOPS THE PROGRESSION of Parkinson's disease.

This morning, I was lamenting the apparent inability of researchers to simply create a pill which replicates the chemical or biological processes which result from high intensity exercise. I'm not a scientist, but how hard can it be? 😜

Then it dawned on me: Why am I waiting so impatiently for a magic pill when a nearly free treatment is readily available? I'm going to the gym and I'm going to pedal as fast as I can pedal for 42 minutes and, as much as I dislike going, I'm going to leave feeling like a million bucks, knowing that I am slowing or stopping Parkinson's. If the studies are right, this is BETTER THAN A PILL. It's almost free, it helps more than just PD, and there are no side effects!

I know we're all in different stages, ages, and places, but I hope you will commit to exercising as vigorously as you can at least three times per week. We need not wait for a magic pill.

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Totally with you. I've been walking/jogging for 18 months and I couldn't be happier with the results (well, obviously I could be happier, but still... much better!) Plus, I don't have to get to the gym; the outdoors is just out my door. As a friend tells me: "The best exercise is the one you'll actually do."

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I like walking and do that almost everyday between 7-10 km.

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Haha, you beat me! I walk/jog about 5 km (a little over 3 miles) a day. Takes me about an hour. Up and down some good hills though. It's not just the exercise - I really love getting out there and seeing trees, butterflies, and birds, etc. I do have a treadmill for rainy or hot days but try to get outside whenever I can.

This may sound crazy to some, but when I get going, I can skip like a kid, and even spin around while I walk! The other day, I was on a grassy small hill and I sprinted down it. Felt wonderful! I don't suggest anyone try it unless you're willing to take a tumble. I didn't, but made sure I was on grass just in case. :)

BTW, I'm 61 and my dx was 10 years ago. Even though I have PD, I seriously doubt many of the kids I went to HS with are in as good a shape.

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Excellent! I live in Northwest Wisconsin. Until this week, the weather has not been conducive to outdoor exercise, but I agree that outdoors is even better than indoors when it's possible. Keep it up!

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My husband has been doing a lot of gym work recently and says he hadn’t felt better in years!!

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Excellent! I've said it often, but intense exercise seems to be the best thing we can do for ourselves.

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Keep it up Jim. I will also be sitting on my bike for Sprint Tomorrow at 9.30. I have been doing it for a couple of years and it has greatly helped.

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Sprint?

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Yes, Sprint

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Keep it up, Kia! As you know, you inspire and encourage me a lot!

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Thank you Jim.

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Be careful if you have balance problems.

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Good advice! But, let's all do what the most we safely can. I gave up the treadmill (temporarily, I hope) in favor of the stationary bike because toe curling made running difficult.

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Same here with C/L toe curling.

I take Mucuna Puriens. Not as effective with tremor. But after spin tremor goes away. Occasionally I’ll take one 25/100 C/L in the morning and M/P the rest of the day.

7/8 yrs. withPD. I’m 70.

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Great post Jimbo, your so spot on. I'm gunna go for a ride on my bike now....thanks mate

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Keep after it! If there was a magic pill conferring the benefits of high intensity exercise, every single person on this forum would be taking it. 😊

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Been there done it worked quite well I was51 when diagnosed im know 67 the brain sAys yes but the body says no the harder I try the more pain I take 7. Carb/lev a day but I had to give up Riding my bike no more balance issues but I do 7 miles every other day on my stationary bicycle any movement is

Good let’s face it what are. Are choices!

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Congratulations for continuing to exercise after 16 years with this! You inspire me!

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I’m going to spin class regularly.

I thought my instructor was to aggressive but I’m the only parky and welcome the discipline.

I decided to go on a weekend to a different instructor. He was harder.

I tried to keep up for 55 minutes.

Long story short It paid off. I realized I can push myself more.

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Congratulations! When I'm a sweaty mess and feel like quitting a little early, I remind myself that PD won't quit so I've got to pedal even faster and longer to fight back. I want many more quality years with kids and hopefully grandkids some day. It's the best possible motivation for me.

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Thank you Jim Caster for your post, which I think will push me to the next level of exercise. It’s optimism Is much welcomed and reminds us that there is something we can do about this confounding diagnosis that’s in our own hands and feet.

🙏🏻

Natasha

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If high intensity exercise came in pill form, the founders would be billionaires! I was never very athletic and I dread working out, but I religiously work out three times per week. I liken it to kidney dialysis. Not necessarily fun, but necessary for survival. I do get a positive "rush" when I am done. I don't know if it is dopamine or endorphins or just the belief that I am doing everything I can to stay well. In any case, I started before formally being diagnosed because I researched everything I could find regarding PD and high intensity exercise seems to be the only universally accepted way to slow or stop progression. Congratulations on your commitment to exercise!

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Check out the new website for pedalingforparkinsons.org to confirm . your determination.

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Thanks, Nan! You are an inspiration to me -- and countless others! 😊

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I think we all do our best and that is good enough.

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I think people like you, Nan, have inspired me to actually do more than I otherwise might have done. I know for sure that this forum encourages and inspires me almost every day. All of us, whether PwP or not, benefit from the encouragement and example of others facing the same challenges.

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Thanks, Jim! Your peptalk was just what I needed!

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Reading your book! Wonderful inspiration! Thank you! I will continue to push forward and appreciate your sharing with us!

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Thanks. I'm glad you're finding the book helpful. That's what I hoped for when I wrote it..

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Well said! This has been my philosophy for the last year and a half. I'm thinking that I need to increase my intensity because I'm progressing slowly but really stiff from all the exercise. Who has seen definitive results and how often, how long and how intense are you exercising?

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I ride a stationary bike three times per week. I divide my 42 minute workout into two 21 minute segments separated by a two minute break. Each 21 minute segment is divided into seven 3 minute segments in which I alternate between a minimum of 90 and 110 RPM (revolutions per minute). I can literally wring out my T-shirt at the end of each session.

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Thanks for your reply. I definitely need to step it up!

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Do what you can do safely, but go as intensely as you would if a tiger was chasing you, because it is...

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bd, A lot depends on the individual. The research from Dr. Alberts et al, tells us to ride our cycles for 3 hours a week at 80-90 rpm. It's actually 10 min. warm up at about 60 rpm, 40 min at 80-90 rpm and 10 minutes of cool down. Lower the . resistance on the the bike, even to zero to try to do the rpm. Take breaks as needed and work up to the goal, then increase the resistance. I had positive responses within a month when I started at age 63. Now, at age 73, it's much harder. I don't beat myself up. I just try to do it every day and I don't always make that goal either. Just don't quit. You can do this.

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Thanks for the details and encouragement!

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Hello Jim,

My husband and I have been exercising all of our lives. I believe because of his life long physical fitness activities, his PD was delayed to show his ugly face till his late 60s. Of course, we continue to walk at least 3 miles every other day. Exercising is not just for PwP but for everyone. Best medicine around!

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Keep it up! If the positive effects of exercise for PwP came in the form of a pill, it would be heralded in every newspaper and newsroom around the world. 😊

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On my way to Rock Steady Boxing this afternoon!! Keep moving!!!

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Way to go! Keep it up!

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Found my magic pill. I can't do biking walking far or jogging anymore due to knee problems so I am gardening (on new ground) and working hard at it. What a difference all the exercise, bending, lifting, digging, pulling weeds (some half a foot deep...ugh!) has made. I feel better each day and stronger. Knees are even stronger. A lot of it is almost stationary although lots of stretching. So this winter when I can't garden I realize moving, stretching, bending etc. is a must do. Thanks Jim!

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Good for you! The best exercise is whatever you will consistently do!

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Hear, hear! I told my hubby with PD yesterday that he could complain all he wants about having PD as long as he was doing it while exercising! Exercise ALWAYS makes him feel better.

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Same here. I dread it...but then I feel euphoric when I am done.

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Good response!😂

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Ancient words of wisdom say that if a line of communication can certainly influence you then you can influence it in return. This principle can be useful and give us a foundation: if the brain can influence the movement and stiffness of the muscles, can “forced” exercise with time influence the brain structure?

I know we could call it "Meta Medicine" as the ancient Greeks called "metaphysics" the assumptions that went beyond the proven. But PD has no known cause.

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metaphysics

noun

the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, identity, time, and space.

"they would regard the question of the initial conditions for the universe as belonging to the realm of metaphysics or religion"

abstract theory with no basis in reality.

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Until reading some of your posts, I always thought of brain-body communication as a one way street from the brain to the body. I now believe it's a two way street. The body also communicates back to the brain. Thanks, Gio!

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I exercise in some way every day of the week, but my favorite is Rock Steady Boxing! I love the cognitive "work-out" that it provides even more than the physical work. (Brain communicating which hand, which punch, slip right or left, etc.) I saw my neurologist today for my 1 year check-up and we both agree that the boxing has definitely slowed the progression of PD for me!

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Congratulations! I don't have Rock Steady Boxing near me, but I have heard great things! Keep it up!

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When you do have one close, try it. It's more fun than it sounds. I've been doing RSB for 12 yrs. & it's been my best medicine. And it's for every level of PD. We now have 804 affliates.

rocksteadyboxing.org.

Check out the videos & the testimonials. My testimonial is under Debbie. Keep fighting!

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You really do inspire us all Jim! Thank you!

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