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How Exercise is Important For Patients With Parkinson’s Disease

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How Exercise is Important For Patients With Parkinson’s Disease.Exercise can help improve the quality of life for patients with Parkinson?s disease. It also helps with symptom management and may slow the progression of the disease.

There are many ways to exercise, including walking, biking and dance. However, it is important to start slowly and be consistent.

Improves Balance

Exercise is an important component of keeping a patient’s balance in a healthy state, according to the Parkinson’s disease Clinic and Research Center. The type of exercises you choose will depend on your overall health and the severity of your Parkinson’s symptoms.

Strengthening the major muscles in your legs and feet can help you maintain your balance. Try squats, and you may also want to try tandem walking, which involves alternating feet and touching your heel to the front of your toe as you walk forward.

Another way to improve balance is by exercising in water, which offers buoyancy and can be a great source of resistance for many different muscle groups, the American Parkinson’s Association (APDA) says. Swimming is one option, but the APDA also recommends aquatic aerobics, which can be a fun social exercise and help increase muscle tone and flexibility without placing much stress on the body.

The APDA also recommends weight training, which can strengthen your entire body and help you maintain your balance while performing daily tasks. If you have a hard time getting started, the foundation suggests choosing exercises that are easy for you to perform, and then gradually increasing your intensity over time.

Reduces Stiffness

Exercise is a vital part of maintaining your overall health and mobility, says the American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA). It can reduce stiffness in both arms and legs, help patients keep their flexibility and strength, improve their posture, and increase their balance.

It is also essential for enhancing confidence and improving mood, which can help patients feel better about their condition and maintain an active lifestyle. In fact, two studies found that people who consistently engage in aerobic exercises experienced a better quality of life and slower decline in their physical ability.

The key to exercising is determining what works best for you. Make sure to get a doctor’s approval, and choose activities that you like and will stick with.

Boosts Self-Esteem

Exercise is any activity that raises your heart rate and works your muscles. It is a great way to improve your health and boost your self-esteem, and is often recommended as a treatment for Parkinson?s disease.

A 2022 study in the journal Neurology found that people with Parkinson?s who did two to three hours of exercise a week had a slower progression of the disorder than those who were sedentary.

The researchers say the key is to stick with the program. They recommend starting with a few small steps and then gradually increasing the amount of time you spend exercising.

Another important factor is to choose activities that are challenging mentally as well as physically. These can include activities that require attention, such as singing, problem-solving and watching a quiz show.

Improves Memory

In addition to improving physical symptoms, exercise improves mood and thinking (cognition) skills. This may help slow disease progression and increase quality of life.

Various forms of exercise — aerobic training, resistance training, forced exercise training and dance — have been shown to improve motor symptoms in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), including tremor, gait disturbances, postural instability and bradykinesia.

Studies have also found that exercise can reduce or prevent the deterioration of brain cells, called neurodegeneration. It increases brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and neuroplasticity.

A recent review of nine studies showed that exercise improved memory and executive function in patients with PD. General, aerobic and resistance exercises tended to have the best effect on cognitive functions often affected in patients with PD, such as attention, visuospatial skills, information processing and speed of processing.

However, as the disease progresses, patients may become discouraged from exercising. Their tremors or coordination difficulties may make some activities no longer possible, and caregivers need to provide support and encouragement for their loved ones to maintain a regular exercise program.

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