“You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.” Jerry West
“Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.” Arnold Palmer
Précis: By now, everyone knows the importance of exercise. However, in my opinion, you cannot hear it enough. Exercise is Medicine, especially for Parkinson’s. This post suggests two paths to enhance your approach to exercise. First, Go FAR is a strategy to help you resist the stronghold-grip of Parkinson’s. Second, ADEPT is a mindset to help you exercise.
“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” Vince Lombardi
Life in the Presence of Parkinson’s is Better With Exercise: I like to ponder, that is, think about something carefully, especially before reaching a conclusion. Pondering likely led the way for me becoming a scientist and all of those years of writing grant/research proposals. So when I turn my thoughts to something like exercise, the result is as given below.
My background is not in exercise/sports physiology or physical therapy. My diagnosis of Parkinson’s has brought me to a new level of thinking regarding exercise and the process behind it. As summer has faded and fall is in full-force, with shades of winter coming along, I am thinking more of exercise routines and programs that can keep me going until the sun and warmth returns.
And while there are a lot of exercise programs to endorse, my favorite is still PWR! Moves – Parkinson Wellness Recovery. PWR! Moves were created by Dr. Becky Farley. PWR!Moves are performed with large amplitude, high effort, and attention to action in multiple postures. Importantly, they specifically target skills shown by research to interfere with mobility in people with Parkinson’s, including antigravity extension, weight shifting, axial mobility, and transitional movements. And I’m even certified to teach it having participated in several of their incredible workshops. Thus, pondering and exercise and Parkinson’s led to the idea for this post and the two acronyms described below.
“No matter who you are, no matter what you do, you absolutely, positively do have the power to change.” Bill Phillips
Exercise Defined: Exercise is activity requiring physical effort, carried out especially to sustain or improve health and fitness. Exercise can benefit most people, but it is especially crucial to anyone with Parkinson’s.
“Patients should have rest, food, fresh air, and exercise – the quadrangle of health.” William Osler
Go “FAR” in Your Exercise Routines: Go FAR Defined; achieve a great deal. With the acronym FAR, use these types of exercise for your routine:
Flexibility, Aerobic, Resistance.
Flexibility (and stretching) to reduce rigidity and postural instability.
Aerobic activity adds the potential benefit of neuroprotection.
Resistance exercises help build strength and adds support.
There is evidence that PwP who exercised for 2.5 hrs/week showed a smaller decline in mobility and quality-of-life over a 2 yr time-period.
Go FAR in your exercise program to challenge your Parkinson’s.
“To enjoy the glow of good health, you must exercise.” Gene Tunney
Be “ADEPT” During Your Workout: ADEPT Defined; someone who shows knowledge, skill, and aptitude. The acronym ADEPT means you bring the following to your workout:
Attitude; Determination; Effort; Persistence; Tenacity.
Attitude allows you to stay focused and achieve a goal.
Determination means you bring a real dedication to the task.
Effort shows you reaching inward to maximizing exercise.
Persistence implies you’ll get the result needed.
Tenacity says you will finish an exercise routine.
Being ADEPT in your workout helps resist your Parkinson’s.
“There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” Bruce Lee
Examples of Exercise Programs for Parkinson’s Disease (PD): PWR!Moves Click here to get a nice introduction to all 20 PWR!Moves exercises; Rock Steady Boxing (click here to learn more); LSVT BIG (click here to learn more); Dance for PD (click here to learn more); LIM Yoga (click here to learn more); Tai Chi for PD (click here to learn more); and exercises like jogging; biking; weight-training; and walking (with or without poles). The most important thing is to choose exercise(s) you enjoy because then you’ll keep doing them on a more regular basis. This is just a partial list, please email me your favorite form of PD-directed exercises and I’ll add it to this post.
Medical Disclaimer: Please consult with your Neurologist before beginning any new exercise routine.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein
Motivation Needed as Winter Approaches: I use this blog to stay motivated and active to deal with my Parkinson’s. I like to take pictures and overlay quotes. They help me keep going, especially as winter is getting closer every day, and we’ve lost daylight saving time until next spring. Here are ten pictures with quotes for motivation. And thanks again to the fantastic Jennifer Bazan-Wigle at the PWR! Gym in Tucson, AZ, for working with me this spring, 2019 (I’m hoping to plan a return to the Gym in 2020).
Additional Blog Posts on Exercise (showing only for 2018-2019):
•The Power of Parkinson Wellness Recovery (PWR!) for Parkinson’s Disease: Moves, Gym, and Surge;
•Prescription for Parkinson’s: Exercise is Medicine (contains a full-length exercise mantra);
•Golf and Parkinson’s: Arnold Palmer on Golf and Life;
•2019 Parkinson’s Awareness Month (Part 2)- Exercise;
•2019 Parkinson’s Awareness Month- 12 Rules of Life With Exercise;
•Brief Report: Link Between Physical Activity and Health-related Quality of Life in Parkinson’s;
•Daily Inspiration (Mantra) from the 2018 PWR! (Parkinson Wellness Recovery) Retreat;
•Parkinson’s Awareness Month: The Science Behind How Exercise Slows Disease Progression,
“In order for man to succeed in life, God provided him with two means, education and physical activity. Not separately, one for the soul and the other for the body, but for the two together. With these means, man can attain perfection.” Plato