The consequences of exercising throughout aging are significant; however, for people that have Parkinson’s, it may truly be a game-changer in the progression associated with the disease. Several studies are revealing direct links and benefits of physical exercise for Parkinson’s. The largest clinical study to date revealed that patients who exercised a minimum of 2½ hours per week gained a higher overall wellbeing than those who refrained from physical exercise. And that is only the start.
The onset of Parkinson’s symptoms occurs following a loss in the brain cells that create dopamine. Scientists think that exercise enables the mind to restore lost connections, form new ones, and continue maintaining those that are in place. Additional studies show:
- Gains were noticed in stride length, gait speed and balance after treadmill exercise – after as little as only one session, and lasting for a number of weeks afterwards.
- Motor function and coordination were enhanced in people who pedaled faster on a stationary bike – again, with results lasting for weeks after the study ended.
- Noticeable improvements regarding the normalcy of movement were discovered in those with Parkinson’s who engaged in a routine exercise regime compared to those who did not.
It’s important to note that final results achieved were dependent upon consistent, ongoing exercise. The scientific tests reported that any protective benefits achieved were discontinued when the amount and intensity of physical activity was reduced or was implemented just for a short period of time. The required criteria for sustainable results seem to be the same as those needed to help those who’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury or stroke: intensity, specificity, difficulty and complexity.
Additional scientific studies are underway to hone in even more on the advantages of exercise in people who have Parkinson’s disease, as well as the precise reasoning behind it. For the time being, in the event your family member has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it is certainly useful to talk with his or her primary care physician for a recommended exercise routine.
For 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 routine at home, call Effraim Home Care at (215) 826-7422. Our professional in-home care services are available to boost quality of life for anyone with Parkinson’s disease with professional senior care in Berks County and the surrounding area. Email us for more information.