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Exercise and Parkinson’s: What the Research Has to Say

Senior man with Parkinson's exercising
Specialty Care Services, providers of home care services in Bethesda and the nearby areas, discusses the connection between exercise and Parkinson?s.
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The particular results of exercising throughout aging are remarkable. However, for persons with Parkinson’s, it may truly be a game-changer regarding the progression of the disease. Several studies are exposing direct links between exercise and Parkinson’s, such as the largest clinical study to date, in which patients who exercised no less than 2 hours each week realized a greater quality of life than those who refrained from physical activity. And that is just the beginning.

The onset of Parkinson’s symptoms occurs following the loss of the brain cells that produce dopamine. Scientists believe that exercise makes it possible for the mind to revive lost connections, form new ones, and keep those that are still established. Additional research also shows:

  • Gains were realized in stride length, gait speed and balance after treadmill exercise after as little as just one session, and persisting for a number of weeks afterward.
  • Motor function and coordination were increased in those who pedaled faster on a stationary bike once again, with results lasting for weeks after the study finished.
  • Recognizable improvements regarding the normalcy of movement were noticed in individuals with Parkinson’s who participated in a routine workout program when compared with people who did not.

It’s important to note that the results achieved were reliant upon consistent, ongoing exercise. The scientific tests revealed that any protective benefits occurring were discontinued when the amount and intensity of exercise was reduced or was implemented just for a short span of time. The essential criteria for sustainable results seem to be exactly like those essential to help those who’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury or stroke: intensity, specificity, difficulty and complexity.

Additional research is underway to hone in even more on the positive link between exercise and Parkinson’s disease, as well as the precise reasoning behind it. For the time being, in case the family member has been clinically determined to have Parkinson’s disease, it is certainly beneficial to talk with his or her primary care physician for a recommended exercise regimen.

For help with safe, dependable transportation and accompaniment to a doctor’s appointment or workout program, or encouragement and inspiration to take part in a regular exercise regimen in the home, call Specialty Care Services at 301-585-6300. Our professional in-home caregivers are available to enhance the quality of life for individuals with Parkinson’s disease by providing the best home care services in Bethesda and nearby areas.

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