April 17, 2018
The results of keeping physically active throughout the aging process are tremendous, but for those with Parkinson’s, it may truly be a game-changer in the progression associated with the disease. Several recent studies are revealing direct links between exercise and Parkinson’s, like the largest clinical study thus far, in which patients who exercised no less than 2½ hours weekly obtained a higher well-being than those who refrained from physical activity. And that is only the beginning.
The beginning of Parkinson’s symptoms takes place following loss of the brain cells that generate dopamine. Researchers think that exercise enables the mind to revive lost connections, form new ones, and keep maintaining those that are still in place. Additional studies show:
- Advances were realized in stride length, gait speed and balance following treadmill exercise – after only just one single session, and lasting for a number of weeks afterwards.
- Motor function and coordination were improved in people who pedaled at a faster rate on a stationary bike – again, with results lasting for many weeks after the study concluded.
- Noticeable improvements with the normalcy of movement were observed in individuals with Parkinson’s who engaged in a routine exercise regime when compared with those that did not.
It’s worthwhile to mention that the results reached were dependent upon consistent, ongoing physical exercise. The scientific studies revealed that any protective gains realized were interrupted as soon as the amount and intensity of exercise was reduced or was employed for only a short period of time. The required criteria for lasting results seem to be much like those necessary to help those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury or stroke: intensity, specificity, difficulty and complexity.
Further scientific studies are underway to hone in even more on the benefits associated with exercise for older adults that have Parkinson’s disease, as well as the specific reasoning behind it. In the meantime, in the event your family member has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it is certainly beneficial to talk to his / her primary care physician for a recommended exercise routine.
For help with safe, dependable transportation and accompaniment to a doctor’s appointment or fitness program, or support and motivation to take part in an ongoing exercise regimen at home, call Continuumat (314) 863-9912 or(636) 861-3336 to learn more about our senior care in St. Louis. Our expert in-home care services throughout the St. Louis region are available to boost quality of life for people with Parkinson’s disease, or some other condition of aging. Contact us to find out more.