What is The Best Exercise For Parkinson’s Disease?

What is The Best Exercise For Parkinson’s Disease?

As it is a known fact that Parkinson’s disease affects the motor abilities of a patient, any exercise that gets the patient moving works quite well. The main idea is to stick to an exercise routine in order to benefit from it. Aerobic exercises are seen to work well for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Some of them include:

It is seen that Pilates, golf, yoga and even gardening are quite beneficial forms of exercises in Parkinson’s disease.

What is The Best Exercise For Parkinson's Disease?

How to Get Started With Exercise In Parkinson’s Disease?

Exercise Program: The patient should discuss about the exercise program with the doctor before starting any form of exercise. The doctor in general considers the patient’s personal health history, current symptoms and treatment plans in order to plan an exercise routine for the patient.

Observe: The doctor would also note any additional factors that may affect the patient’s ability to workout.

Physical Therapist: The doctor may ask the patient to take an appointment with a physical therapist or a personal trainer certified and experienced in working with patients who have Parkinson’s disease. Such experts say the patient to modify exercises in order to perform them better in case Parkinson’s have limited the patient’s movement.

Analysis: The physical therapist may help the patient monitor his movement and progress. He may also suggest changes in the exercise routine for best and effective results for the patient.

What Are The Challenges That The Patient May Experience While Exercising?

It is known that Parkinson’s disease is a progressive and thus people in the early stages tend to be strong and physically fit. But later with the progression the various physical changes take place-

Loss of Balance: The patient may experience loss of joint flexibility which may affect balance.

Loss of Muscle Strength: There may be decreased muscle strength which may adversely affect walking. The patient may find it difficult to even stand up from sitting.

Decreased Endurance: The patient may experience decreased endurance due to decline in cardiovascular conditioning.

What to Keep In Mind While Starting To Exercise In Parkinson’s Disease?

Have Hope: The patient should not lose hope and be upset if he cannot perform as well as he might think at first. Specifically if the patient wasn’t into much of physical exercise prior the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease it may take quite some time to build endurance and stamina required.

One Step at a Time: The patient should start with shorter periods of exercise to build up the endurance.

Communication: It is important to open up to the doctor and the physical therapist or PT and be honest with them. If a certain posture or a particular type of exercise feels unnatural or too difficult, the patient should inform the therapist for a revised version of the exercise. If the patient is not honest, it may happen so that the symptoms of Parkinson’s may increase.

Exercise in a Safe Environment: It should be made sure that the patient exercises in a safe environment. The patient may feel that exercising at home may be convenient, but it is not a safe option. There may be a possibility of tripping over slippery surfaces or carpets and rugs. Once the patient hurts himself, it may become an issue of emergency.

What Role Does A Proper Diet Play In Parkinson’s Disease?

Not only exercise, it is important to maintain a proper healthy and balanced diet in Parkinson’s disease. It is important to talk to the doctor about the food to avoid while undergoing medical treatment for Parkinson’s disease. This is because some food may interfere with the working of the medicines prescribed and may bring side effects in the patient’s body. Thus a proper diet with good amount of nutrition is extremely important in Parkinson’s disease.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 25, 2018

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