Excercises for Parkinson's patients

Exercises for the Parkinson Patient

Just as running water does not freeze

So moving muscles do not freeze

Exercise is an essential complementary therapy for most Parkinson patients because movements are affected in Parkinson disease. It may improve muscle joint strength, maximize ones physical ability and prevents further degeneration and disability due to disuse or injury. Exercise also elevates mood and can help relieve depression and foster feeling of general well being.

The form of exercise you choose depends on your own preference and your mobility, but ideally you should pick an exercise that you can do regularly throughout the year - walking, jogging ,stretching, swimming and other activities can help Parkinson patients.

I exercise daily using a styn bike alternate with yoga and muscle stretch using a thereband tube. These exercises help my energy levels and state of mind. It gives me a sense of being able to impact my health by keeping my body as healthy as can and not just relying on the pill to do that.

Yoga and Taichi: Some of the gentle stretching and balance oriented exercises are ideal for Parkinson Patients because they involve slow, deliberate movements. Yoga has also been found to improve lung function and breathing. These are just a few of the many applications over main stream medicines as found for yoga.

Taichi coordinates movements of the body with the mind and breathing and emphasizes flexibility, balance, and serenity of both mind and body. It was found that people who practice Taichi had improved balance flexibility and cardiovascular fitness when compared to sedentary Parkinson patients. One patient stopped using her cane and walker after 3 months of practicing Taichi.

The most important thing of all is to open your mind to do the possibility of one or more of the above therapies as a means of healing and promoting physical, emotional and spiritual health. Find out what works for you and what does not. Trust your instincts, practice what feels right and discard what does not.

3 Replies

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  • I too think and exersize every day Gym Bike Pailote It works or is working Having two knees replaced in the last 18 months makes it harder but is also good for it

  • I agree entirely. Yesterday I felt awful. I had had a bad night's sleep, which doesn't help. I was slow, clumsy and stiff and my spirits were low. I am very poor at taking my medication on time, but yesterday I had kept to my schedule. The only other thing that had changed, was that I had missed my regular exercise.Much as I didn't feel like it, I made myself go for a run. (I can still run despite Parkinson's) I didn't go far, but when I got back, I was transformed. I felt relaxed, in control and positive. The difference was amazing. I recommend exercise for everyone. Even if you are chair-bound, there is such a lot you can do: shrug your shoulders, punch the air, lift your knees infact anything which you can do, do it. I am a great believer in vigorous movement. I call it my perk-up pace not my Parkie pace. You have to force yourself out of Parkie pace or it becomes the norm.

    Read my post on the Parkinon's Movement web site entitled 'Pedal Away Parkinson's'; - you'll find it in the September archive, then read my page on exercise on my Pedal for Parkinson's web site. It outlines an offer by JD Tandems of Gargrave of a free taster session for anyone with Parkinson's instead of the usual £50. As Alex Flynn our superstar athlete says' 'Keep Moving'.

  • No doubt about it, hard exercise works better for me than the drugs I take. I warbled on at length about it elsewhere on the forum so will keep this brief.

    Tai Chi, Yoga and meditation definitely work- SLOW movements seem to be more effective, even when lifting heavy weights, but in that contradictory way that the big P has, I also find rapid high knee lift striding works. A few minutes of exaggerated strides and arm swings seems to stretch my walking from a short shuffle to near normal and the effects last several hours.

    Over Christmas I got so tired from visiting friends, parties etc. that I could not find energy for anything or exercise, and did nothing much for 4 days - I steadily got worse walking, eating, even just standing up SO a few hours ago I forced my way through a workout session - felt like hell but stuck with it and after an hour feeling wiped out as always happens energy came back and my movements improved tremendously. So it's back to light exercise alternated with heavy exercise 3 times a week .... yes it is tough but it's better than the non-exercise alternative!

    One more thing -- cycling, whether outdoors (good luck with traffic!) or on a stationary bike is also very effective but I will leave that to others that do it conscientiously as I prefer the stuff I do - not necessarily better it's just that exercise DOES NOT WORK UNLESS YOU DO, so we all need to find something we like enough to stick with it. Alex is on the money when he says "keep moving" because if we don't eventually it turns to we can't!

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