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Stretching Exercises For Parkinson’s

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Parkinson’s Disease Exercises: Flexibility

Much more can be found in ourEvery Victory Counts® manual. Its packed with up-to-date information about everything Parkinsons. It also includes a worksheet and resource section to help you put what youve learned into action. Request your copy of the Every Victory Counts manual by clicking the button below.

  • Start seated on the edge of your chair, feet planted firmly on the floor.
  • Raise your right foot up.
  • Trace the ABCs in the air with your toes. Make the letters as big as possible.
  • *Use your ankle for the motion, not your knee or hip.

    Standing Option: Split Stance Weight Shifting

  • Start standing one foot away and facing the wall. Place your hands on the wall in front of you for balance.
  • Take a big step back with your left leg, keeping your right foot forward. This is called a split stance.
  • Push your hips forward to shift your weight into the front leg, bending your front knee and keeping your heel on the floor. Keep your back leg straight. Hold 1-3 seconds.
  • Pull your hips back, shifting your weight back into the back leg, bending at the knee. Your front leg straightens and the toes of your front foot come off the floor, pulling up towards your knee. Hold 1-3 seconds.
  • Rock back and forth so youre shifting your weight from the front leg to the back leg. Do this 10-15 times.
  • Switch legs and repeat steps 3-5.
  • Flexibility And Stretching Exercises Part 2

    Due to increasing rigidity or stiffness, individuals living with Parkinsons will benefit from frequent stretching and flexibility exercises. Stretching activities assist in keeping a good range of movement. These types of exercises require you to hold the position and relax. Allow the muscle to gently stretch and feel lengthened. Hold each stretch for 20 to 60 seconds. You dont have to do all the exercises every day. Choose the ones that are right for you.

    For each exercise :

    Hold each stretch 20-60 secondsNo bouncing or jerking the musclesFeel stretch, but no painBreath deeplyFLEXIBILITY / STRETCHING EXERCISES

    1 Leg Hang

    Lying on your back on the edge of a firm flat surface. Let one leg hang over the edge. A gentle stretch should be felt in the front of hip of the hanging leg. Let the muscles relax and hold. Repeat for the other leg.

    2. Hip flexors and quads

    Illustration: Dr Levent Efe, Medical Arts

    Start in a lunge position with one leg stretched out behind you, resting on the floor. Keep hips level and squared. Place a towel or pillow under your knee if needed. Ensure the knee angle on the front leg is over 90o and you can see your toes. Drop the hip of the back leg down. The stretch should be felt in the hip of the rear leg.

    3. Hamstring Stretch

    Illustration: Dr Levent Efe, Medical Arts

    Illustration: Dr Levent Efe, Medical Arts

    This stretch can also be done lying on the floor or seated in a chair.

    4. Wall Calf Stretch

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    Exercises Seniors With Parkinsons Disease Should Try

    By Shital Rane 9 am on December 17, 2021

    Exercising on a regular basis enables older adults to boost their overall health and keep several diseases at bay. Staying physically active can help seniors with Parkinsons slow down some of the symptoms of the disease, such as a decrease in flexibility, spine mobility, and balance. Encourage your senior loved one to try the following exercises to enhance his or her quality of life.

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    What Are The Best Balance Exercises For Parkinsons Disease Patients

    Maintaining proper balance can be a considerable challenge, especially for people who have Parkinsons disease. But that does not imply that you should relax and be inactive. Remaining active is one of the essential things you can do to maintain your mental and physical health.

    That said, there is no single prescription exercise for people with Parkinsons disease. For sedentary patients, moving and getting up could be crucial. Several activities can help Parkinsons patients to attain balance, including:

    What Kind Of Exercise Can I Do If I Have Trouble Standing Or Walking

    A4 Exercise Chart: Parkinson

    Even with advanced Parkinsons symptoms, you can still reap the benefits of some activities. If you have trouble walking or balancing, hold a bar or rail to exercise and stretch. If standing or getting up is tough, exercise and stretch in a chair or bed. Physical exercise performed in a seated position, such as biking on a recumbent bike can allow you to exert yourself in a safe manner.

    Facial exercises may help combat difficulties speaking or swallowing:

    • Chew your food longer and more vigorously.
    • Exaggerate your face and lip movements when you speak.
    • Make faces in the mirror.
    • Sing or read out loud.

    Mental exercises give your brain a workout and can improve memory. For example:

    • Name as many animals as you can in 1 minute.
    • Play brain games and do puzzles.
    • Solve math problems in your head.

    You can also add activity in small bits throughout your day:

    • Park further away from stores so you walk longer distances.
    • Stretch or do leg exercises while watching TV.
    • Swing your arms more when you walk, and take long strides.
    • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

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    Top Three Exercises For Parkinsons Patients

    Posted By C-Care

    Parkinsons disease is a common neurodegenerative condition, which mainly affects the motor system and can make simple physical tasks difficult over time. Since Parkinsons is degenerative, symptoms advance and change over time. Symptoms of Parkinsons include:

    • Tremors
    • Dementia
    • Mood alterations

    Parkinsons is a challenging disease both for those who suffer from it, and for their family members. When diagnosed early, there are many things you can do to minimize symptoms, including exercises, some of which well list here.

  • WalkingParkinsons affects your gait, often causing you to take smaller steps, as well as impeding balance. This combined with stiffness can cause falls. In order to combat these difficulties, try to walk regularly. While walking, aim to:
  • Swing your arms.
  • Take long steps.
  • Pay attention to the way your foot lifts and lands as you step.
  • Walking is also an all-around healthy way to get exercise, and should always be part of your daily routine.

  • StretchingParkinsons symptoms can cause muscles around your hips and hamstrings to become tighter, rounder, and shorter. Depending on your level of mobility, there are many stretches you can do to target these muscles:
  • Seated Hamstring Stretch: Sitting at the edge of a chair, extend one leg straight, keeping the heel on the floor, while your other legs stays bent. Placing your hands on your bent knee for support, lean forward until you feel the stretch in your hamstring. Hold for 5-10 deep breaths.

    A Note On Dystonia Treatment

    While these exercises will help improve flexibility and potentially decrease pain for those of you who struggle with Parkinsons dystonia, it is not a comprehensive treatment strategy. To best manage your dystonia symptoms, we recommend a combination of physical therapy modalities and medication optimization.

    • You can find a Parkinsons PT in your area at or
    • Listen to Dr. Julie Hershberg, PT, DPT, NCS talk about how she approaches Parkinsons dystonia at her private neurological PT clinic, re+active PT, .

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    Putting It All Together

    It can be overwhelming to think about adding all of these exercises to your daily or weekly routine. Consider a phased approach, where youll work in one element every week or every other week. If you try to take on too much out of the gate you could hurt yourself, especially if you are starting from a relatively sedentary lifestyle.

    In addition, weekend warrior athletics can you put you at risk of injury. Start small and steady and gradually increase the number of days per week that you are exercising. The goal is to exercise at least 2.5 hours per week but many patients find further benefit from more frequent and longer duration exercise .

    There are various types of activities that will incorporate a few or all of the exercises mentioned above. Examples include dance, boxing and other Parkinsons-specific classes. I recommend that patients change it up to avoid boredom. The muscles will get bored of the same exercises over and over and they stop responding to exercise. The brain gets bored as well it needs a challenge! And of course, psychologically it becomes a chore to do the same exercises over and over. For example, some patients will do cardiovascular three days per week, work on machines three days per week, stretch for 10 minutes daily, and do tai chi on the seventh day.

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    What Type Of Exercise Should I Do If I Have Parkinson’s Disease

    Exercises for Parkinson’s: Flexibility Exercises

    Exercise is a planned, structured, repetitive activity that is intended to improve physical fitness. There is no right exercise for people with Parkinsons. Everyones regimen will differ, depending on overall health, symptoms and previous level of activity. Any exercise helps, and a variety of exercise types may provide well-rounded benefits.

    Aerobic exercise

    Aerobic exercise involves activities that challenge your cardiorespiratory system such as walking, biking, running, and activities in the pool. Participating in aerobic exercise at least three days a week for 30-40 minutes may slow Parkinsons decline.

    Strength training

    Strength training involves using your body weight or other tools to build muscle mass and strength. Strength training two days per week, starting with low repetition and weight, may be beneficial in Parkinsons disease. A focus on extensor muscles, or muscles in the back of the body, can help with posture.

    Flexibility training

    Stretching two or more days per week can be beneficial to maintain range of motion and posture. Holding each stretch of major muscle groups for 30 to 60 seconds can improve muscle length.

    Balance and agility training

    This type of training often combines aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility training. Examples include:

    • Dancing.
    • Tai chi, yoga or Pilates.

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    Some Basic Tips For Exercise Safely

    Dont practice at slippery places.

    Dont take or use rolling chairs.

    Practice exercise during the on-period time.

    Be hydrated.

    Please do not practice over-exercise.

    If you are less confident, practice exercise in the presence of anyone who can support you.

    If you feel any pain then stop that exercise which is the cause of pain.

    When Should Parkinson’s People Stretch

    The best thing about stretching is that you can do it at any time. Get your day off to a good start by stretching before getting out of bed. Try to stretch throughout the day. For example, you can stretch while you watch television or ride in a car.

    Choose a time for exercise when you are well-rested and your PD medications are working.

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    Assessment Of Gait Parameters

    Stride time , percentage of double stance time , stride length and the coefficient of stride length were assessed at different walking speeds on a motorized medical treadmill ergometer. There is sufficient evidence that gait variability is increased in basal ganglia disorders . Furthermore, increased stride-to-stride variability might reflect a failure of automatic stepping mechanisms . Increased gait variability can be seen throughout the course of Parkinsons disease and has been found to be one aspect of walking, closely associated with risk of falls in the elderly .

    For better comparison of the training effects patients walked at 6 different walking speeds prior and after the training period. The treadmill was equipped with force platforms, that allowed an accurate determination of foot-ground contact. Patients were not allowed to use the handrails of the treadmill for support.

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    Do’s And Don’ts Of Stretching Exercise For Parkinson’s People

    Exercise for Parkinson

    Do stretch until you feel a gentle pull?

    Dont stretch to the point of pain.

    Dont bounce while you stretch. Bouncing can cause small tears in muscle fibers. This can actually lead to less flexibility.

    Dont hold your breath while you stretch. Breathe evenly in and out during each stretch.

    Dont compare yourself to others. Everybody varies in how far they can stretch.

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    What Is Parkinsons Disease

    Parkinsons disease is a neurological disorder that causes problems with movement. These can include shaking, stiffness, and issues with walking, balance, and coordination.

    Parkinsons disease can also lead to speech problems and side effects including depression, pain, and difficulty sleeping.

    Parkinsons disease affects the cells of the area of the midbrain known as the substantia nigra. This part of the brain produces dopamine and relates to reward and movement. Parkinsons causes cells in the substantia nigra to die, which reduces dopamine levels and causes the onset of symptoms.

    How Hard Should I Exercise If I Have Parkinson’s Disease

    A rating of perceived exertion is a good way to measure intensity. On a scale from 0 to 10, 0 would be how you feel while sitting or lying down, while 10 would be the maximum effort you can give. Building up to an effort between 5 to 8 means you are exercising at a high intensity. A good gauge is, if you can have a conversation with someone while exercising, you should probably increase your intensity.

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    Benefits Of Exercise For People With Parkinsons Disease

    Exercise has been shown to have several significant benefits for people with Parkinsons disease. These helpful effects seem to stem from two specific neurological changes that occur when you work out:

    • The release of a chemical called dopamine: This positively impacts your movement, mood, and sensation of pain.
    • Growth and change in the cortical striatum:This is an area of the brain that controls your voluntary movements.

    These two exercise-related changes can result in many concrete advantages for people with Parkinsons, including:

    • Improved balance
    • Reduced sleep disruptions

    Data Collection Management And Analysis

    Parkinson’s Disease Exercises: Strengthening and Balance

    All personal information will be kept strictly confidential, such as age and disease progression. The results will be collected and stored in a database protected by passwords.

    Data will be obtained from the Care-PD app and presented as mean ± SE. All statistical analyses will be performed in GraphPad Prism and R studio 3.6.3. Staff with rich experience will independently complete the processing and cleaning process of data. Baseline data between groups will use one-way ANOVA for continuous variables and normal distribution, Wilcoxon test for continuous variables and non-normal distribution, and chi-square test for categorical variables. Repeated-measure ANOVA is used to evaluate the efficacy of Tai Chi and stretching exercises on QoL and PD progression over 12 weeks . A mixed-model repeated-measure ANOVA is used to compare the difference between Tai Chi, stretching exercises, and the control .

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    Should I Talk To My Healthcare Provider Before I Start Exercising If I Have Parksinson’s Disease

    Talk to your neurologist and your primary care provider before starting a new exercise regimen. They can:

    • Counsel you on how intense your exercises can be.
    • Recommend exercises appropriate for your individual health.
    • Refer you to a physical therapist to create a personal exercise program.
    • Warn about exercises to avoid based on your particular challenges or limitations.

    Parkinson Society British Columbia Exercise Recordings

    Cost: Free

    Purchase Info:

    Cost: Free

    Features thirteen men and women with PD of different ages demonstrating both standard and advanced workout routines with twice-weekly variations. Intro reviews benefits of exercise and keys to success. Exercises were developed by physical therapist expert.

    Cost: Free

    Archived classes from March 2020 to the present include yoga, shadow boxing, multi-tasking/cognition, strength and coordination cardio, bigger and stronger.

    Cost: Free

    Four of the videos posted to the PASF YouTube channel are exercise videos. Each is 25 minutes long. Focus of the videos include strength and mobility, balance skills, seated and mat exercises.

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    Chair Exercises For Parkinsons Patients

    Exercises for Parkinsons patients are designed to help counter the forward slumped posture and rigidity that develops as the disease progresses. Through physical therapy, patients are able to regain their mobility and live fuller lives.

    Chair exercises for Parkinsons patients can be performed in an outpatient therapy center, and even within their own home. Are you or loved one looking to improve your range of motion, balance, and overall posture? Here are three sitting exercises to perform in the comfort of your own home:

    Chair Exercise 1 Improve posture in patients living with Parkinsons.

    Sit in a stable chair with your back against the base.Lean forward and reach with your hands toward your feet out in front of you.Quickly and with high energy, pull back into your original seating position with your back flat against the chair.Repeat several times.

    Chair Exercise 2 Regain rotation of the trunk to counter the effects of Parkinsons disease.

    Sit comfortably in a stable chair and place feet shoulder-width apart.Place your hands out in front of you, with both palms touching.Take one arm and stretch out to your side, leaving the other hand at the center. Be sure to extend your arm with your fingertips are engaged, so you can obtain maximum efficiency.Quickly and with high energy, bring your stretched arm back to the center and smack the palms of your hands.Repeat these motions several times on both hands.

    Voice Choral Singing Therapy

    Feel Good Stretches for Tight Muscles

    Voice Choral Singing Therapy uses music therapy to help patients increase their respiratory volume and reduce vocal fatigue. Research studying VCST has shown it can improve vocal intensity and intelligibility however, it does not provide significant improvements in functional measures of vocal quality.2

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    Choosing The Right Exercise Class For Parkinsons

    When trying to find an exercise class to join, it can be hard to know which ones to try because there are many different types of classes that are marketed to people with PD. When you are evaluating a class, it is important to remember the following:

    • It is the components of the exercise class that are important . You do not need to specifically do boxing or dance if you can achieve these elements of exercise in other ways.
    • The instructor should have expertise in PD. APDA offers a training for fitness professionals which helps them better understand how to create exercise programs best suited for people with PD.
    • The ratio of class members to instructors should be low enough to maintain safety.
    • The class should be adaptable for people of different abilities and mobility. Many classes will offer seated options or other modifications.

    It may take a few tries to find the types of exercise that suits you best so dont give up! Feel free to try different classes in your area to see what types of exercise appeal to you. It can also be motivating to take classes together with a friend or family member. You can hold each other accountable, and also have some fun together. As you find classes you enjoy, you can incorporate those modalities into your exercise schedule. For help in finding classes in your area, you can contact one of our Chapters or Information & Referral Centers. There are also many virtual classes that you can join from home.


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