Being Active: The Benefits of Exercise
Often, people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) abandon exercise routines because they experience stiff muscles and joints or problems with movement
. However, exercise can make you more flexible and agile. Plus, it can be fun and enjoyable if you exercise with a friend or in a group.
The benefits of exercise with regard to gait and range of motion in people with Parkinson’s disease have been demonstrated in clinical trials. Other benefits of regular exercise may include:
- Better control of your movements
- Improved circulation
- Improved flexibility
- Better balance
- Fewer muscle and joint injuries
- Better cardiovascular health
- Less constipation
- Improved sleep
- Increased energy
If you are not exercising regularly, consider starting today. Below are some types of exercises that may be appropriate for people with Parkinson’s disease. However, you should always consult your doctor before initiating any exercise regimen. He or she may refer you to a physical therapist or trainer with experience in Parkinson’s disease.
- Regular stretching can help you relieve some of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, including muscle tension, decreased range of motion, and increased risk of muscle injury.
- Tai chi may improve your balance and provide mind and body relaxation.
- Yoga uses stretching and breathing techniques to promote wellness.
- Aquatic exercises use gentle resistance to help improve range of motion, strength, flexibility, balance, and posture.
- Dancing can help temporarily reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and improve balance and initiation of movement.
- Pilates may improve flexibility, balance, and energy.
Whatever exercises you choose, they should be done regularly and in moderation. The most important thing is to find something you enjoy and stick with it. Start out slowly and increase your activity within your comfort zone.