Exercise for all of us is a vital component to health and wellbeing. But for someone with Parkinson’s symptoms, the effects are even more impactful. New research is showing a direct correlation between exercise and the progression of Parkinson’s disease. One particular study conducted by the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project revealed that those with Parkinson’s who exercised a minimum of just 2.5 hours each week achieved a higher degree of overall wellbeing as opposed to those who did not engage in any physical activity. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Parkinson’s symptoms develop as a result of a loss of brain cells that produce dopamine. Researchers believe that exercise helps the brain rebuild lost connections, create new ones, and ensure that existing ones remain in place. Additional information gleaned includes:
- Gains were achieved in balance, stride length, and gait speed after treadmill exercise – surprisingly, in as little as just one session, and lasting for weeks after.
- Coordination and motor function both increased in participants who pedaled faster on a stationary bike – and again, those results lingered for weeks after the initial gain.
- Marked improvements in normal movement were detected in Parkinson’s patients who engaged in regular exercise programs over those who did not.
These outcomes were realized through consistent, ongoing exercise. The results have shown that the protective benefits achieved did cease when the level and intensity of the exercise was reduced, or if it was implemented for only a short duration of time. The necessary criteria for long-term results can be compared to the criteria required to aid those recovering from a stroke or traumatic brain injury: specificity, intensity, difficulty, and complexity.
Further research is now underway to zero in even further on the particular benefits of exercise for those with Parkinson’s disease, and the reasoning behind those benefits. In the meantime, if someone you love has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, it’s certainly worthwhile to talk to his or her doctor for recommendations on an exercise plan.
Nightingale Homecare, the top-rated provider of both medical and non-medical senior home care in Phoenix and surrounding communities, is available to help those challenged by Parkinson’s symptoms as well, through our Journeys Parkinson’s and Movement Disorder program, along with services such as:
- Helping seniors participate in physician-approved exercise programs
- Providing transportation and accompaniment to the gym or exercise class
- Fall prevention
- Preparing nutritious meals
- Running errands
- Skilled nursing care
- A full range of in-home occupational, physical, and speech therapy services
- And much more
Contact Arizona’s most trusted in-home care specialists, Nightingale Homecare, for a free consultation in the comfort of home and to learn more about how we can help someone you love live his or her best possible life. You can reach us any time at (602) 504-1555 to learn more about our senior home care in Phoenix and the surrounding communities.