The results of keeping physically active throughout aging are remarkable; however, for people that have Parkinson’s, it could truly be a game-changer in the progression of the disease. Several recent studies are discovering direct links between regular exercise and Parkinson’s disease, such as the largest clinical study up to now, for which patients who exercised at least 2½ hours each week realized a higher quality of life compared to those who refrained from physical exercise. And that is only the beginning.
The onset of Parkinson’s symptoms happens following loss in the brain cells that manufacture dopamine. Researchers feel that physical exercise enables the brain to bring back lost connections, form new ones, and continue maintaining those that are still in place. Additional studies show:
Advances were realized in stride length, gait speed and balance following treadmill exercise – after as little as just one single session, and lasting for a number of weeks afterwards.
Motor function and coordination were enhanced in people who pedaled at a faster rate on a stationary bike – once again, with benefits lasting for many weeks after the study was over.
Noticeable improvements in the normalcy of movement were identified in people with Parkinson’s who participated in a routine exercise regime compared to people who did not.
It’s worthwhile to mention that the outcomes reached were reliant upon consistent, ongoing physical exercise. The clinical tests revealed that any protective benefits realized were discontinued as soon as the amount and intensity of physical exercise was reduced or was implemented just for a short period of time. The required criteria for sustainable results look to be much like those required to help those who have experienced a traumatic brain injury or stroke: intensity, specificity, difficulty and complexity.
Further scientific studies are underway to hone in even further on the benefits associated with regular exercise and Parkinson’s disease, and also the specific reasoning behind it. In the meantime, if your family member has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it’s certainly useful to consult with his or her primary care physician for a proposed exercise routine.
For assistance with safe, dependable transportation and accompaniment to a doctor’s appointment or workout program, or encouragement and motivation to take part in an ongoing exercise program at home, call the top St. Joseph senior care provider, Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, at 269-849-9252. Our high quality in-home care services are available to enhance well-being for people with Parkinson’s disease, or any other condition of aging throughout Portage and the surrounding area. Contact us for more information.