Exercise is an important part of healthy living for everyone. For people with Parkinson’s, exercise is more than healthy: it is a vital component to maintaining balance, mobility and the ability to perform activities of daily living.
An exercise program booklet by APDA “Be active”
Exercise can benefit in two ways:
- Symptom management. Research has shown that exercise can improve gait, balance, tremor, flexibility, grip strength and motor coordination. Exercise such as treadmill training and biking have all been shown to benefit, as has tai chi and yoga (although more studies are needed).
- Possibly slowing disease progression. There is a strong consensus among physicians and physical therapists that improved mobility decreases the risk of falls and some other complications of Parkinson’s. Read more
Do you find that exercise eases your Parkinson’s symptoms or are you looking for a way to get started? Regular exercise or physical therapy is crucial for: Maintaining and improving mobility, flexibility, balance, range of motion. Easing PD’s secondary symptoms such as depression and constipation
According to David Lehman, Ph.D., P.T., and Mark Hirsch, Ph.D., “In addition to helping with movement, researchers now believe that exercise may influence the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Most of this research is based on animal models of Parkinson’s, but some of the findings may apply to humans.”