Parkinson’s Disease is a neurological degenerative condition that affects a million people across the country and in our backyard here in the Triangle. While there is no cure for Parkinson’s, there is a TON of research out there that has made one thing very clear: exercising in a specific way improves the quality of life of those living with Parkinson’s and will keep their level of function at a much higher level than if they did not participate in this focused type of exercise.
So what types of exercises are important for those living with Parkinsons? When we are working with Parkinson’s clients we are focusing on total functional training but especially on antigravity extension (standing up tall), weight shifting (moving side to side) and transitions (from one position or movement to another).
Included with these types of movements, it is also important to focus on flexibility, strength training, and aerobic training for cardiovascular health. When we run our pay it forward community wellness program for people living with Parkinson’s, we are focusing on all of these movements in a way that is scaled for each individual throughout the course of the program.
An example of a general type of exercise that is great for people living with Parkinson’s Disease might be a rotational exercise the encourages weight shift from start to finish as well as crossing midline in a manner that challenges not only the musculoskeletal system to get stronger, but also the nervous system to complete the movement as smoothly and under control as possible.
The goal for anyone living with Parkinson’s should be to remain as active as possible. This will allow them to maintain their level of function as high as possible. They should also have a medical professional level of care for their movement and gait as well as a fitness level professional for overall health and wellness. When both of these facets work in concert with their doctor, the results can be quite amazing and empowering.
What are you doing to make sure you are as functional and independent as possible? Give us a call at 919-377-2084 and we would love to chat with you about your situation and what the best options might be for you!