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The Astounding Link Between Exercise and Parkinson’s

An older man who has learned about the link between exercise and Parkinson’s smiles as he leans on a treadmill.
An older man who has learned about the link between exercise and Parkinson’s smiles as he leans on a treadmill.
Learn about the link between exercise and Parkinson’s and how our home care team can help.

The results of maintaining some form of exercise regimen throughout aging are remarkable, but for those with Parkinson’s, it may truly be a game-changer regarding the progression of the disease. Several studies are showing a direct link between exercise and Parkinson’s, including the largest clinical study to date, in which patients who exercised at least 2½ hours per week gained a greater total wellbeing compared to those who refrained from physical activity. And that is just the beginning.

The onset of Parkinson’s symptoms takes place following a loss in the brain cells that make dopamine. Experts believe that exercise enables the brain to recover lost connections, form new ones, and maintain those that are still established. Additional studies show:

  • Gains were occurring in stride length, gait speed and balance after treadmill exercise – after as little as only one session, and persisting for many weeks afterwards.
  • Motor function and coordination were increased in those who pedaled faster on a stationary bike – once more, with results lasting for weeks after the study finished.
  • Recognizable improvements in the normalcy of movement were found in individuals with Parkinson’s who engaged in a regular exercise program compared to people who did not.

It’s important to note that final results achieved were dependent upon consistent, ongoing exercise. The tests revealed that any protective benefits achieved were discontinued once the amount and intensity of exercise was reduced or was implemented just for a short span of time. The required criteria for sustainable results seem to be just like those necessary to help those who’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury or stroke: intensity, specificity, difficulty, and complexity.

Additional research is underway to hone in even more on the advantages of exercise in those with Parkinson’s disease, and the precise reasoning behind it. For the time being, if a loved one has been clinically determined to have Parkinson’s disease, it’s certainly beneficial to talk with their primary care physician for a recommended exercise regimen.

For help with safe, dependable transportation and accompaniment to a doctor’s appointment or exercise program, contact us at (512) 338-4533. Our professional in-home care services are available to enhance quality of life for persons with Parkinson’s disease, or another condition of aging in Austin, Georgetown, San Marcos, and throughout the surrounding area. Contact us for more information.

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