Understanding How Exercise Can Help Parkinson’s Symptoms

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A senior finishes working out after learning how exercise can help Parkinson’s symptoms.

Exercise can help Parkinson’s symptoms, and so can we!

Exercise is vitally important for all of us, but in particular, researchers are now finding out how much exercise can help Parkinson’s symptoms. Several studies are exposing direct links between physical activity and Parkinson’s, such as the largest clinical study up to now, in which patients who exercised no less than 2½ hours per week realized a higher overall wellbeing than those who refrained from physical exercise. And that’s just the beginning.

Parkinson’s symptoms begin when there is a loss in the brain cells that make dopamine. Researchers believe that exercise enables the mind to restore lost connections, form new ones, and continue maintaining those that are in place. Additional studies also show:

  • There were gains discovered in stride length, balance, and gait speed following treadmill exercise – after as little as just one single session, and enduring for a number of weeks afterwards.
  • Motor function and coordination were enhanced in those who pedaled faster on a stationary bike – once more, with results lasting for weeks after the study concluded.
  • Notable improvements in the normalcy of movement were discovered in individuals with Parkinson’s who maintained a consistent exercise program in comparison to those who did not.

A point to note is that these improvements seen were contingent upon the consistency of the exercise. The clinical tests revealed that any protective benefits achieved were discontinued when the amount and intensity of exercise were reduced or were implemented for only a short span of time. The required criteria for sustainable results appear to be just like those required to help those who’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury or stroke: intensity, specificity, difficulty, and complexity.

Scientists are working to learn more about how exercise can help Parkinson’s symptoms and the precise reasoning behind it. For the time being, if someone you love has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it is certainly beneficial to consult with their primary care physician for a recommended exercise routine.

For support with safe, dependable transportation and accompaniment to a doctor’s appointment or workout program, or encouragement and motivation to take part in a regular exercise regimen at home, call San Diego Home Caregivers at (619) 487-9000. Our professional in-home care services are available to improve overall wellbeing for those with Parkinson’s disease or any other condition of aging throughout San Diego, La Jolla, Point Loma, and the surrounding areas. Reach out to us online to learn more.