What are the short-term and long-term PD benefits of prolonged running or cycling?

I have not had PD long enough to know for sure but I have developed a hypothesis that running for over 45 minutes diminishes the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. For example, when I go running on Saturday mornings for at least an hour I can come home and do a number of chores such as yard work and heavy lifting without any noticeable PD symptoms. On the other hand, if I don’t run and do heavy yard work, I will notice symptoms the rest of the day.

FYI, I started training for marathons in 2010 and was diagnosed with PD in 2011.

14 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Keep up the running. It will serve you well in the long haul.

  • When I was dx'ed in 2002 I read a study about rat's on a treadmill. One group was on a forced running plan. They were then induced with a drug that destroys the substantia nigra... PD. They faired out much better than the non runners. Those of both groups that continued on running did so too.

  • I have noticed if I work physically harder (even though to get going is really quite difficult)

    I start to feel as if I have more energy. However, at the end of the day I am more tired and problems with painful limbs.

    But I can at least claim to have done something useful.

  • I have used the gym - treadmill and weights - for about 4 yrs (diagnosed 2003) and I can promise you that the results are amazing - I have more energy and the symptoms are delayed (before needing next medication). It is getting harder and my legs ache at the end of the day (strangely not my arms??) but people still say "you are looking better than when I first met you 4 yrs ago " - I moved at that time so people in this area have only known me 4 yrs

  • I must say that I am in much better physical condition from running now then at my dx. After the run however I must work hard to be heard as my voice gets soft.

  • Do you use an inhaler?

    Consult with your doctors. Rx Albuterol is VERY helpful at eliminating and or limiting the soft voice / vascular constriction post workout runs/cycling.

  • I have used the gym - treadmill and weights - for about 4 yrs (diagnosed 2003) and I can promise you that the results are amazing - I have more energy and the symptoms are delayed (before needing next medication). It is getting harder and my legs ache at the end of the day (strangely not my arms??) but people still say "you are looking better than when I first met you 4 yrs ago " - I moved at that time so people in this area have only known me 4 yrs

  • I'm calling my trainer tomorrow!

  • When running or walking be certain to focus on 'proper form'. Google 'proper running form' and find loads of tips. Properly fitted trainers protect your feet and your body from injury.

    PD specific : Roll shoulders back pulling scapula together to open up chest. Do not lead with chin/head. Pump swing with arms evenly. Keep upper body relaxed. Think of your body with an imaginary line drawn through the middle mirror match each movement left side right side as best as you can. Breathe and hydrate.

    Strength training so important - especially upper back - muscle mass/strength helps maintain proper posture when running or walking. Avoid stoop.

    Body weight squats. Slow controlled burpees. Plank Matrix. Hamstring curls (w Swiss ball). Single leg deadlifts. Sun Salutations series (excellent). All good core builders. All possible to do at home.

    Stretching. Inversion yoga positions. The goal is to keep the body flexible and strong.

    Cycling : be kind to your neck and shoulders. Be certain you are using proper form. Leaning too far forward compresses lung capacity - it may feel good aerodynamically but physiologically it decreases O2. Proper seat and bar position is very important. Stretch after rides. Breathe and hydrate.

    All humans as they age rotate forward. PD patients especially so. What ever movement you do, chores or specific exercises, running or walking, try to open up the chest and lead with your chest not your chin with shoulder back to prevent the stoop forward. And ... breathe and hydrate.

    Carry on strong.

  • Very good points with respect to form control. I run with a group but I have not asked others how I look while running. I try to get someone to give feedback with respect to form. Perhaps a good thing to do is to get someone to video me periodically. I also try to go to the gym twice a week to work on core muscles. I make a point of doing situps as this is like a benchmark to me.

    Other things on the list: mega vitamins and juicing. On the to do list: tai chi and singing in a choral group (for the voice). Now I just read the coffee is a good thing for PD!

  • Keep up the good work! Repeated determination.

    VIDEO is fab - from both sides / front / behind. So very helpful.

    Look at the bottom of your shoes and track the wear patterns too.

    Be certain to use proper sit up technique to not strain neck muscles. Floppy head is a drag. HA!

    Squats squats and more squats. Lunges lunges and more lunges.

    Stretch stretch stretch ... can not stretch enough.

    Coffee black tea green tea ... water water water ... HYDRATE.

    Be careful with the mega vitamins. Can overdue overdose cause liver kidney urinary issues.

    Carry on strong!

  • Which symptoms?

  • Tremors on my right side. Before my dx I had tremors anyway but the tremors were quite significant after I did yard work which was why I went to the Dr. The meds have helped but I notice a benefit after running.

  • absolutely needed

    other than good doctors and correct meds it is something you can do that will help .

    I had last been in a gym in high school in 1970 till two years ago when i got diagnosed.

    now i do one hour stationary bike which is very important,

    yoga 2x week

    trainer one day a week

    all in all 2 hours a day ,6 days a week.

    plus gym mates give socialization and support

    so

    get moving

You may also like...