The Importance of Exercise for Parkinson’s Patients
In the middle and advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease, gait disorders, also called midline symptoms, do not respond to medications or even surgical treatment, and balance defects occur, followed by falls. The best way to maintain balance, gait, and posture is to move.
In recent years, both animal experiments and observations in humans suggest that exercise will moderate the course of Parkinson’s disease by creating new neural networks in the brain, making changes in brain blood flow, increasing the nutrient (trophic) factors of nerve cells.
Exercise for Parkinson’s Patients not only improves walking, balance and posture but also positively affects non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as depression, apathy, fatigue, and constipation. It also acts as a protective agent against cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis (bone resorption) that will be invited by inactivity.
Parkinson’s disease affects your mobility, it slows you down. The slowdown in movements does not prevent exercise and sports. While exercise strengthens your muscles, it also preserves your flexibility. Although it cannot stop the disease, it provides your balance and prevents the development of stiffness in the joints.
Your family and friends take on many things you have to do in order not to tire you. Do not allow this as much as possible and do the things you can do, even if slowly, by taking rest breaks. This is a method that will keep you active for years.
It is also useful to make your choice of exercise with your doctor. The physician will tell you what actions are appropriate for you and what you should avoid. It will also let you know how much time and power you can devote to exercising. The exercise program specific to Parkinson’s disease can be applied by the relevant Physical Medicine Rehabilitation specialists and physiotherapists. You should adopt this as a lifelong habit, not a short-term treatment session.
In order for these gestures to be useful, we recommend following certain conditions.
- You should warm-up before the exercise and relax again at the end.
- In the first days, you should work for 10 minutes, gradually increasing the time to 30 minutes.
- Exercise is not just arm, leg, and trunk movements. It would be helpful to exercise the facial muscles for your mimics. Making gestures in front of the mirror makes your facial expression meaningful. Reading aloud helps correct your hoarseness in singing.
- For the safety of the exercise environment, dangers such as slippery floors, sliding or gathering carpet, dim environment should be avoided.
- Parkinson’s patients with balance problems can exercise by holding on to a fixed place. It is appropriate for patients with standing problems or dizziness due to low blood pressure, or having difficulty standing up or standing up, to exercise in bed.
- Do not force yourself while exercising, when you feel hurt or excessively tired, end the program for the day.
- Doing gardening, swimming, yoga, and tai chi allows you to do the exercise with pleasure. Swimming is an ideal sport for Parkinson’s patients due to the less need for balance and the more comfortable movement of the joints.