Many Have you heard of the benefits exercise and physical activity can have for someone with Parkinson’s? If not, then this article will be insightful for you.
Parkinson’s disease is a condition with a variety of symptoms that include tremors, slowness of movement and rigidity. Symptoms start to appear when the brain can't make enough dopamine to control movement properly. It is estimated that 100,000 Australians are living with Parkinson’s.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for people living with Parkinson’s and their symptoms vary from day to day. They can struggle with everyday activities as they lack the ability to complete simple movements. This can then often lead them to not wanting to engage in any form of exercise which can often increase the severity of their symptoms.
Thankfully, recent studies have shown how exercise can have positive effects on managing symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions. Exercise can help improve mobility and physical capacity as you increase muscular strength and cardiorespiratory fitness. With better mobility, quality of life improves as you can continue to engage in valued activities. Exercise can also help people living with Parkinson's to maintain independence and reduce the level of care required. As well as these benefits, exercise can also improve mood and assist with the effectiveness of drug therapy.
These are the more common benefits from exercise that everyone knows, however a benefit from exercise that is not often considered is how it can encourage neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the ability to create new neural pathways in the brain, which can help with managing symptoms of Parkinson's.
Now we have established how beneficial exercise can be, it is also important to understand how different forms of exercise can help. A combination of a variety of forms of exercise is best. Some examples and why are listed below:
Resistance training: This involves using your muscles against a resistance and can include body weight exercises and using different weights or equipment. This helps improve and maintain your muscular strength which can help ease every day activities.
Aerobic Training: This involves continuous movements such as walking, swimming, cycling, dancing etc. This form of exercise helps improve your breathing and respiratory system as well as helping with muscular strength and control.
Balance Training: Poor balance is common for people living with Parkinson's so the more we can practice and maintain it the better. This can be done through putting the body into tricky positions and movements.
Flexibility Training: As the muscles are more stiff and rigid, stretching them out and working on your flexibility can make you feel more comfortable throughout the day.
Repetitive Exercise: This can be one of the better ways to improve neuroplasticity and can be performed in numerous ways. It can include completing different movements in a pattern or through a course. This can include things such as boxing, dancing, cycling and walking.
With all this being said it is also important to find the right kind of exercise for you and have good guidance. As Parkinson's varies for each individual and symptoms can vary day to day, working with someone to help assist you through exercise can be important. There are many considerations to be taken into account such as medications and temperature. Thankfully we are trained and understand how to help you find the right exercise that is tailored towards your specific needs.
Although we can't cure Parkinson’s, we are certainly able to help you manage your symptoms and keep you engaging in activities that are important to you!
If you would like some more information and would like some assistance, please give us a call on 8682 6665.
EP Physio Plus 17 Edinburgh Street, PORT LINCOLN SA 5606 Ph: (08) 8682 6665 Fax: (08) 8682 5552