Watching loved ones suffer from any debilitating disease is difficult, and Parkinson’s is no exception. The aggressively degenerative properties of this disease make it particularly dangerous, and if you have ever watched someone cope with Parkinson’s or if you suffer from the condition yourself, you understand that fact all too well. However, there are still ways you and your loved ones dealing with Parkinson’s can work to better your lives and keep a healthy, positive attitude. In this short piece, we will discuss different exercises that an individual with Parkinson’s can do to improve their overall health and perhaps give them a chance to take back a measure of control.
Physical activity will always be the mainstay of good health. This is especially true for individuals with Parkinson’s, as inactivity will cause increases in the degeneration process that affects your range of motion, muscle strength, and endurance. Exercising will not stop Parkinson’s from progressing, but it can help you prevent the disease from completely controlling your life.
Any cardio that will get your heart rate going will help you burn calories and improve your overall circulation. If you have a gym membership, you have access to a wide variety of different exercise equipment that can help you start this process. Whether it’s a treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical—whatever you are most comfortable using that will give you a good mild to moderate exercise. If your gym has a swimming pool, you can consider participating in water aerobics.
When all else fails, take a walk! Whether it’s just down the street or around the block, movement is the key. Walking is a great aerobic and cardio exercise that is low impact on the joints and highly flexible in terms of distance and exertion.
Joining a Yoga or Tai Chi class can be a great, low impact way to stretch your muscles and focus on slow, even movements. Classes like this may prove to be a struggle, especially if your Parkinson’s is at an elevated stage, but the challenge will prove worth the effort, no matter how small the gains.
Or, if you prefer something more fast-paced, you can find a dancing class or group that will allow you to express yourself in more diverse ways. Never learned to salsa? Why not give it a go! If the public scene isn’t for you, then turn up the music and dance at home.
At home, consider growing a garden. Nurturing the growth of your garden can be extremely therapeutic, and it will get you moving outside.
Parkinson’s disease can affect your movement, posture, and balance, which can lead to nasty falls and broken bones. Doing exercises that focus on your balance can help you reduce your risk of falling. There are a variety of different exercises you can do to improve your balance; find the one that works best for you, and try to keep up with it a few times a week for optimal results.
While there is no cure for Parkinson’s, that does not mean you should give in to the disease without a fight. Keeping up an exercise routine will help your body stay healthy and strong, and every little bit that works against Parkinson’s is a bit that is worth the effort for you and your loved ones.