Exercise and Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s affects your ability to move.  Exercise keeps muscles strong, improves flexibility and mobility, especially in Parkinson’s. Exercise will not stop the progression of Parkinson’s but it may help slow it down; however, it improves balance, reverses stiffening of joints, improves mobility, and definitely exercise bolsters your spirits.

Exercise has been an almost daily part of my life for the past 50 years.  Exercise is important to me, especially since my diagnosis with Parkinson’s.  This week was Spring Break at school, so a Thursday afternoon golf outing was just what I needed (see photo). My Parkinson’s-based exercise routine is given below:

Stretch (every 2-3 hrs/day);
Golf (play/practice 2-4 times/week);
Jump rope (daily);
Ride bike (now that winter is leaving, weekends);
Tennis (now that winter is leaving, weekends);
Walk (as close to daily as possible);
Weightlifting (beginning again spring ’15);
Yoga (weekly);
Meditation (3-4 times/week).

Obviously, before beginning your exercise routine(s), talk with your neurologist or family physician, start slow, build up your stamina, and feel better about life with Parkinson’s. The more you can move, the better you’ll feel. Exercise will help (please be careful ) and enjoy!

If you are new to exercising, definitely consider this book:

Delay the Disease -Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease– by David Zid:  http://www.amazon.com/Delay-Disease-Exercise-Parkinsons-Book/dp/1424332087/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_z

A Google search for “exercise and Parkinson’s” gives many choices, here are a few (you can add any sport you like, most are beneficial for Parkinson’s):

“The effect of exercise on PD”  http://www.pdf.org/en/parkinson_briefing_exercise14?gclid=Cj0KEQjwuI-oBRCEi87g0K3O8OoBEiQAb25WAXss04qDCYCoWZj3ozjBx4C5rIY4fnoM30-9oGxvayUaAmvv8P8HAQ

“Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease”  https://www.michaeljfox.org/understanding-parkinsons/living-with-pd/topic.php?exercise

“Parkinson’s disease: An investigation of exercise capacity, respiratory function, and gait”  http://www.archives-pmr.org/article/S0003-9993%2897%2990264-1/abstract?cc=y

“Exercise”  http://www.parkinson.org/Parkinson-s-Disease/Treatment/Exercise

“Fight Parkinson’s: Exercise May Be The Best Therapy” http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/02/02/381937503/fight-back-against-parkinsons-exercise-may-be-the-best-therapy

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