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Thursday, May 16, 2024
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What Are The Best Exercises For Parkinson’s Disease

Putting It All Together

Parkinson’s Disease Exercises: Strengthening and Balance

It can be overwhelming to think about adding all of these exercises to your daily or weekly routine. Consider a phased approach, where you’ll 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 Parkinson’s-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.

Why Is It Important To Exercise

Current research shows that exercise is important for individuals with neurological conditions as it not only improves cardiorespiratory fitness, but also muscle strength. This in turn has shown to have positive effects on managing symptoms associated with Parkinsons disease.

Remember that better mobility may improve quality of life and prolong independent living. Exercise may also have positive effects on mood and improve brain function and make drug therapy more effective.

Exercise And Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease affects your ability to move, but exercise can help to keep muscles strong and improve flexibility and mobility. Exercise will not stop Parkinson’s disease from progressing; but, it will improve your balance and it can prevent joint stiffening.

You should check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Your doctor may make recommendations about:

  • The types of exercise best suited to you and those which you should avoid.
  • The intensity of the workout .
  • The duration of your workout and any physical limitations.
  • Referrals to other professionals, such as a physical therapist who can help you create your own personal exercise program.

The type of exercise that works best for you depends on your symptoms, fitness level, and overall health. Generally, exercises that stretch the limbs through the full range of motion are encouraged.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when exercising.

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What Kind Of Exercise Is Best

Ideally, combining a range of different fitness activities can bring the most benefit to patients, Amodeo says, since variety increases muscle learning and is more neurologically invigorating.

That said, any bit of exercise helps, she notes, adding that it also pays to build up slowly. An introductory session with a physical therapist is also recommended to help patients find the best beginning regimen for their ability level. The American Parkinson Disease Association National Resource Center for Rehabilitation runs a toll-free hotline that allows callers to speak with a licensed physical therapist who can offer advice about exercising and help connect callers to resources in their communities.

While the most important thing is finding a fitness activity you enjoy, and sticking with it, Amodeo says she’s seen benefits from a few particular types of exercises in particular such as boxing, which, she notes, combines aerobic exercise, weight training and balance all in one class, as well as yoga and tai chi, which deliver balance training and help with fluidity of movement. They’re also good for overall mindfulness and taking time for you, she notes. For those more limited in their mobility, she says a stationary bike or aquatic therapy are great options.

And finally, don’t overlook a dance class as a potentially fun and beneficial type of exercise. One study showed that Argentine tango classes in particular improved PD patients balance and functional mobility.

Exercise 2 : Side Leg Raise

What Is The Best Exercise For Parkinsons Disease ...

STARTING POSITION: Lying on your side. The leg closest to the floor is bent, and the top leg is straight. Cradle your head with your arm, or use a pillow for neck support.

  • Lying on your left side, place your top arm in front of you with your hand on the mat to support you. Keep your hips stacked and avoid leaning too far forward or back. Pull your belly button in towards your spine.
  • Straighten the knee of your top leg, and pull your toes toward your shin. Raise your top leg, heel first, toward the ceiling about 2 feet in the air. Imagine your heel is sliding up an invisible wall behind you. Lower back down slowly.
  • Repeat 20 times per leg.Rest and perform a second set before switching to the other side.

    Bad Form Alert!

    Its very easy to do this exercise incorrectly. When done correctly, you should feel muscles in the back of your hip working. You should NOT feel it in the front of your hip. If you do, youre using your hip flexor or TFL muscles.


    • Let your hips fall backward. Keep them stacked by actively leaning forward.
    • Let your leg kick in front of you. Raise it straight up as if youre sliding your heel along an invisible wall behind you.
    • Let your toes point up. Keep your foot parallel to the floor, or even point the toes slightly down to the floor if possible.

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    What To Keep In Mind While Starting To Exercise In Parkinsons 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 wasnt into much of physical exercise prior the diagnosis of Parkinsons 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 Parkinsons 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.

    Why Do I Need Tongue Exercise

    You should practice tongue-strengthening exercises if you face swallowing difficulty. As we know that Parkinsons disease is a chronic progressive disease, PD people may face difficulty.

    If you practice Tongue -strengthening exercise, it is completely safe. If you get any pain or discomfort while practicing this exercise, you can stop.

    Note: Before practicing this tongue exercise, turn off the TV and remove distractions from your environment. Focus completely on the exercise.

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    Exercise 3 Quadruped Hip Extension

    STARTING POSITION: On hands and knees.

  • Line up your knees underneath and slightly wider than your hips. Press your palms into the floor, flattening your fingers against the floor and straightening your elbows. Straighten your right leg behind you, knee straight and toes on the floor.
  • Pull your belly button up towards your spine. Look in between your hands. Squeeze your right glute to raise your right leg straight up towards the ceiling. Keep your knee straight. Lower back down.
  • Repeat 15-20 times.Perform two rounds per leg.

    Effects Of Physical Exercise On The Treatment Of Parkinsons Disease

    Exercises for Parkinson’s: Flexibility Exercises

    Other therapeutic strategies have been evaluated clinically and scientifically in recent years in the search for an action to reduce clinical problems of PD, such as, non-pharmacological interventions like physiotherapy and physical exercise . Rehabilitation through physical therapy has a variety of goals and methods that generally promote benefits in parkinsonian mobility, posture, and balance. However, some limitations have been observed in a consensual way by some researchers in two topics: in relation to the benefits that seem to be more immediate , and the variety and low methodological quality of the studies . Other nonpharmacological approaches to rehabilitation in Parkinson’s disease are the practice of different modalities of physical exercises such as walking, running, strength training, whole body vibration and functional exercises, which are related to the reduction in the risk of falls, decreased motor symptoms, motor performance improvements, balance and gait improvements, positive repercussions in quality of life and executive functions .

    Kurtais et al. investigated the effects of six weeks of supervised treadmill walking, three times a week for 40 minutes in patients with mild to moderate PD, and observed significant improvements in lower limb functional parameters such as walking, balance, and agility, and in related parameters, the adaptations promoted by aerobic exercise as increase of peak VO2 and caloric expenditure in METs .

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    Tips For Getting Started

    • First, be safe. Before starting an exercise program, consult your;neurologist and primary care doctor about concerns and recommendations.;
    • Ask your doctor or members in your support group to refer to a physical therapist who knows about PD. Work together to identify your concerns and limitations. Target exercises to improve them. For most people, a structured exercise program will include aerobic exercise and resistance training .
    • Purchase a pedometer and figure out how many steps you take on average each day, then build up from there. Many smartphones or smartwatches have a built-in pedometer feature or an application that can be downloaded.
    • Exercise indoors and outdoors. Change your routine to stay interested and motivated.
    • Again, most importantly pick an exercise you enjoy.

    Seek out local PD exercise classes. Across the country, dance classes and boxing groups designed specifically for people with PD are growing in popularity. Contact the Parkinsons Foundations toll-free Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO or to find one near you.

    Page reviewed by Dr. Bhavana Patel, Movement Disorders Fellow at the University of Florida, a Parkinsons Foundation Center of Excellence.

    So What Type Of Exercise Is Best

    There are many different forms of exercise, but what type is right for you? Every individual is different! Its important to remember that although a combination of aerobic, resistance and balance exercises have the best overall effect, you may need to modify each element to your suit your unique circumstance.

    Aerobic exercise

    Aerobic exercise is described as continual movement to assist in the improvement of cardiorespiratory function. This includes walking, cycling, swimming and even dancing! Exercising to music specifically has seen some fantastic results in managing Parkinsons symptoms. Dance for Parkinsons Australia run specialised dance classes across Australia, providing a social environment so share stimulating activity.

    Resistance exercise

    Maintaining strength is not only important to keep our muscles healthy, it also helps with daily activities like getting off the toilet and getting out of the car. Resistance exercises can be performed using your body weight, light hand weights, resistance bands, various machines found in a gym setting or even using common household items like cans of food. Moving your muscle under a greater resistance promotes an increase in muscle mass. You may like to participate in group setting, a home program, or a combination of both.

    Flexibility exercise
    Balance exercise
    Exercise for Neuroplasticity

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    What Role Does A Proper Diet Play In Parkinsons Disease

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

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    How Exercise Helps With Parkinsons Symptom Management

    Which are the Best Exercises for Parkinsons Disease Patients

    In general, the Parkinsons Foundation says, exercise helps improve gait, balance, flexibility, and grip strength while reducing tremors. A review of existing research published in the August 2016 edition of the journal Frontiers in Medicine found that exercise may also improve cognition, while reducing depression and fatigue.

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    Weight And Resistance Training

    It is known that the extensor system the muscles that keep the body upright against gravity become weaker in Parkinsons, making it more likely that the body will become stooped and flexed. Lifting weights or using resistance equipment can be the simplest way to work on muscle strength, however it is important you know what you are doing so you dont hurt yourself, and so that you strengthen the right set of muscles.

    These exercises normally focus on building strength in sets or muscles or improving certain movements. And can often be done at home without the need of expensive equipment. If you are interested in doing weight and resistance exercises we advise getting professional advice about what muscles or movements to work on from a qualified physiotherapist.

    There is evidence that this type of exercise can improve strength and flexibility in Parkinsons. For instance, resistance training focusing on the legs was seen to improve legstrength and mobility of the knee joint in people with Parkinsons. But the researchers in this study noted it may not be superior to treadmill or balance training, which provided many of the same benefits.

    Other researchers have demonstrated that a combined strengthening, stretching and balance training programme, carried out 2 days a week over 24 months, may be more effective than weight lifting alone in reducing Parkinsons motor symptoms.

    How To Get Started With Exercise In Parkinsons 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 patients 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 patients 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 Parkinsons disease. Such experts say the patient to modify exercises in order to perform them better in case Parkinsons have limited the patients 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.

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    They Tailor Exercises To You

    Kinesiologists can develop a one-on-one personal training program with exercises tailored to your needs, advice that will motivate you, personal support, and rigorous follow-up.

    Watch an excerpt of an individual training session at home:

    An example of a home service from the kinesiologists at Neuromotrix. These services are available in Montreal, Laval, South Shore, Lanaudière and Laurentides regions.

    Parkinsons Specific Exercise Guidelines

    5 GREAT Parkinson’s exercises that help you feel better now! Powerful, meaningful and effective.
  • It is important that you walk yourself through each exercise first to make sure you understand the movement. As with any exercise programme, it is unlikely, but possible that you can injure your muscles by ending a movement without enough control. Keep your movements controlled and focused as you slowly build up your effort level.
  • If you have had an injury in the past or have one now, bare this in mind when you start with each new exercise and modify accordingly.
  • When working your way through the exercises, be mindful of your capacity, not your confidence to maintain balance through some of the more challenging activities. Always aim to exercise with a wall or table on one side with the sturdy chair on the other, just in case you do lose your balance. Having a buddy with you is also a great way to have some additional support.
  • When following a neuroplastic exercise programme, the focus is about quality of movement, not just quantity, so dont fall into the trap of just going through the motions. Once you are up to speed with the choreography, make each repetition count.;
  • Be sure to tailor the exercise to your needs; stage of Parkinsons and type of Parkinsons. The way you do the exercise will be slightly different to the next person and it is these nuances that can take the exercise you do from good to great!
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    Strengthening And Flexibility Exercises

    Maintaining strength and flexibility is another key part of exercising and can be particularly important for people with Parkinsons. There are many non- aerobic activities that can help, we recommend asking for advice from physiotherapists who can suggest specific individualised exercises that work at strengthening or stretching particular muscles to help you move easier.

    Here are a few exercises that have been investigated by researchers for their effects in Parkinsons:

    Pair Your Medication Dose With Exercise

    Try to schedule your workouts during times when your mobility is best. Monitor how long it takes for your medication to kick in to determine when to exercise.

    With Parkinsons disease, the phrase use it or lose it takes on greater meaning. The more you challenge your body and brain with exercise and learning, the better youll be able to maintain your quality of life for years to come.

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