Staying Active to Manage Parkinson’s Symptoms

A senior adult is about to exercise to manage his Parkinson’s symptoms.

Manage Parkinson’s symptoms by staying active!

It’s beneficial for any older adult to stay active as they age, but especially for those with Parkinson’s, exercise could have a great impact on managing Parkinson’s symptoms. Several studies are uncovering direct links between physical exercise and Parkinson’s symptom management. In the largest clinical study to date, patients who exercised no less than 2½ hours per week gained a greater total wellbeing compared to those who refrained from physical activity. And that is only the start.

Parkinson’s symptoms start once there is a loss of the brain cells that create dopamine. Experts think that exercise makes it possible for the brain to rebuild lost connections, form new ones, and maintain those that remain established. Additional studies also show:

  • Those who pedaled at a quicker rate on a stationary bike experienced higher motor function and coordination, and the results persisted for weeks following the study.
  • Gains were discovered in stride length, gait speed and balance following treadmill exercise, even after a single session. And those benefits continued for weeks afterwards as well.
  • Recognizable improvements in the normalcy of movement were found in individuals with Parkinson’s who engaged in a regular exercise program when compared with those who did not.

An important note about these outcomes is that they were dependent on regular, consistent exercise. The scientific tests revealed that any protective benefits realized were discontinued once the amount and intensity of physical exercise was reduced or was implemented for only a short span of time. The essential criteria for sustainable results appear to be the same as those necessary to help those who’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury or stroke: specificity, intensity, complexity, and difficulty.

More studies are in progress to develop even more research on the benefits of exercise on Parkinson’s symptoms, as well as the precise reasoning behind it. For the time being, if someone you love has been identified as having Parkinson’s disease, it’s certainly useful to talk to their primary care physician for a recommended exercise regimen.

If you need help with safe, dependable transportation and accompaniment to a doctor’s appointment or exercise program, or encouragement and inspiration to engage in a regular exercise regimen at home, call Advanced Home Health Care at 800-791-7785. Our professional in-home care services are available to enhance total wellbeing for anyone with Parkinson’s disease or any other condition of aging. Our services are provided throughout Burlington, Fort Madison, Keokuk, and the surrounding areas. Contact us to find out more.

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