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Exercise is Key!

Posted on: 12 May 2020

It’s a well known fact that for those afflicted with Parkinson’s, exercise is crucial in order to maintain your best quality of life. While medication for Parkinson’s patients’ plays a major role in managing symptoms, exercise is the key to maintaining muscle strength, flexibility and balance.

As Parkinson’s progresses, it becomes easier to exercise less, but this is precisely the opposite of what your body requires. Muscles and joints can become stiff and weak and through movement and exercise, these symptoms can be improved.

Exercise can also assist with:

  • heart and lung function
  • weight loss
  • and joint pain
  • constipation and bowel movements
  • bone strength

In these challenging times, it is so important for us to keep check on our mental health also. This is another area where exercise comes into play. Not only does it release all those feel good endorphins, but it also reduces the levels of stress and anxiety in our bodies.

The best exercise is obviously finding something that you like and will stick to. Perhaps you enjoy yoga or dancing, Tai Chi (excellent for balance and coordination,) boxing, cycling or swimming. For the challenging times we are living in now, with most of us housebound, movement is still essential. Take a walk with your partner, friend or neighbour.

While the current global pandemic has kept many of us indoors, we can still stretch from the comfort of our own living rooms and /or use online exercise videos to help instruct.

Long time advocate and participant of Tai Chi, Anna Germani used to suffer from falls. Since practicing Tai Chi for the past five years, she has had no falls at all.

“There is so much improvement in my balance,” says Anna, who sometimes practices the movements at home.”

“And I always feel so much better when I have done it.”

No matter what stage of Parkinson’s you have, there is always something you can do to stay active. Begin with exercise that is gentle and easy and over time, your fitness will improve.

Wear comfortable shoes that have good support, use a walking aid if you feel unstable and stay hydrated. Remember, consistency is key!