Exercise is a great way to stay in shape and burn some extra calories. However, when it comes to early Parkinson’s patients, exercise is more than just a way to stay healthy; it allows them to stay active and slow the progress of Parkinson’s Disease.
In Simple terms, exercise is an effective Medicine for early Parkinson’s Patients, and if you or your loved one have Parkinson’s Disease, you should start doing exercises daily.
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In this DisabiltiEase.com guide, I’ll share the best exercises for early Parkinson’s Patients. Let’s get started.
How Does Exercise Help People Manage Their Parkinson’s Disease?
Exercise is a great way to slow the progress and manage Parkinson’s Disease. According to Parkinson’s Outcomes Project, the largest clinical study on Parkinson’s Disease with over 13000 participants worldwide, the researchers found that increasing the intensity of physical activity up to 2.5 hours per week slowed down the decline in the quality of life of Parkinson’s Patients.
The study also found that depression was one of the major factors which affect the overall health of Parkinson’s Patients, and it’s a proven fact that exercise can help you manage depression.
Exercise also keeps Parkinson’s Patients active and protects their brain cells. Overall, exercise is a natural medicine to fight Parkinson’s Disease, and early Parkinson’s Patients should use it to slow the decline in the quality of their lives.
When Should I Start Exercising If I Have Parkinson’s Disease?
According to experts, Parkinson’s patients should start exercise at very early stages as it offers a better outcome. However, even if you are starting late, but you can still exercise, you can still exercise as it will help you relax and stay active.
Which Types Of Exercises Are Best For Parkinson’s?
When it comes to Parkinson’s Disease, there’s no right exercise, and the good exercise for you will mainly depend on your overall health and Parkinson’s Disease stage.
If you are in the early stages, you can do most exercises, but I will recommend that you should get professional help as they will be able to suggest the best exercises depending on your overall health.
However, these are the 5 general types of exercises that are important for early Parkinson’s Patients.
Aerobic Exercises For Early Parkinson’s Patients
Aerobic Exercises are the ones that basically target your heart and lungs. These exercises are also known as cardio, and they are great for keeping your heart and lungs healthy. Aerobic exercises cover various motor functions of your body, so they are great for early Parkinson’s patients.
During my research, I also came across a very interesting study which states that 30 to 45 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 times a week had a similar effect that conventional Parkinson’s Drugs had with mild severity. It clearly shows that aerobic exercises are great for people in the early stages of Parkinson’s.
So, if you are interested in doing aerobic exercises, you can do the following ones.
- Brisk Walking
- Stationary cycling
- Elliptical trainer
- Climbing stairs
Strength Training For Early Parkinson’s Patients
Strength training is a type of exercise that involves lifting heavy weights to train your muscles. In Strength training, you will target one muscle group such as the biceps, triceps, and chest at a time to train your muscles. However, you can also do compound exercises such as deadlifts which can target many muscles of your body at the same time.
In this training, you will need to follow the techniques precisely as any wrong exercise can pull your muscle or hurt you. So, I’d recommend that you get the help of a professional trainer if you are starting out. Once you know the techniques, then you can do solo exercises, but still, having a training partner is fun, and it will keep you from getting bored.
These are some of the best training exercises you can do at the Gym.
- Glute Bridges
- Bicep Curls
- Bench press
Balance Exercises For Early Parkinson’s Patients
As the name suggests, Balance exercises focus on improving your balance so that you can avoid the risk of falling. Many experts recommend Balance exercises to early Parkinson’s patients as these exercises help you with balancing and also strengthening your ankles and other muscles.
These are some of the best balance exercises for early Parkinson’s Patients.
- Tai Chi
- Sumo Squats
Stretching Exercises For Early Parkinson’s Patients
Stretching exercises are simple exercises that you do to stretch your muscles. These exercises are often done before you do any intensive physical activity to warm up your muscles and avoid any injuries.
These are some of the popular stretching Exercises
- Shoulder stretch
- Samson stretch
- Butterfly stretch
- Side bend
- Calf stretch
- Cobra stretch
- Wrist stretch
In the above sections, I told you about the different types of exercises, and now most of you must be wondering which type of exercise is the best for you? the answer is all of the above. These exercises affect different parts, muscles, and organs of your body in different ways, and if you want to stay fit and active, it’s important that you do all of them.
For example, if you want to do strength training, the first thing you will need to do is to warm up your body to avoid any injuries. So, you can use the combination of stretch exercises and aerobic exercises to warm up your body, and then you can lift heavy weights. Similarly, if you want to go cycling, you will need to do basic stretching to warm up your leg muscles, and then you can go cycling without risking strain on the muscles.
What Should Be The Intensity Of Exercise For Early Parkinson’s Patients?
When it comes to the intensity of exercise for early Parkinson’s Patients, experts recommend that you should start small but stay consistent.
For example, if you are doing aerobic exercises, you should start with a simple and basic exercise such as a brisk walk or a simple jumping jack. These basic exercises may seem very simple and ineffective, but they will increase your stamina, and once your stamina reaches another level, you will naturally get the urge to try more intermediate and advanced exercises.
Similarly, if you are starting with weight training, you should start with low weights and focus on perfecting your techniques. Once you know that you have mastered techniques, then you can progressively increase the load and then move on to advanced exercises such as bench press or deadlift. You should also follow the same rules of exercises such as Yoga and stretching.
Tips For Getting Started
If you are starting exercise as an early Parkinson’s Patient, these tips will help you.
- Safety should be your first priority, and you shouldn’t exercise solo, and you should exercise where someone can see you. Before you proceed with exercises, I’d recommend that you visit your therapist and ask them to evaluate you and suggest exercises based on your condition.
- Solo exercises can get pretty boring at times, so make sure to switch exercises and places to keep them fun.
- Use a good smartwatch to track your workout sessions, as it will help you keep track of your progress and provide useful insights.
- Lastly, only pick exercises which you love. For example, if you don’t like weight training, you don’t have to do it, and there are other ways such as body weight training to hit different muscle groups. So, don’t get demotivated if you are not enjoying any exercise and should consult your physical therapist to consider other options.
What Are The Benefits Of Exercise?
Exercise is a natural remedy to many problems, and it can help you with many problems, including obesity, depression, and stress. Here are some of the benefits of doing physical exercise.
· Helps you fight depression
· Helps in reducing anxiety
· Improves your body balance
· Make your body more flexible
· Improves posture
· Burn Fat
· Slows Parkinson’s diseases progress
· Keep your brain cells healthy
· Increase your body strength
· Improve Muscle
· Helps with Constipation
· Improves overall mood
· Promotes better sleep
· Boosts energy
· Boosts your confidence
· Lower your blood pressure
· Makes your bones strong
· Lowers the risk of getting diabetes
Is Exercising With Parkinson’s Disease Dangerous?
If you are in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, Exercise won’t cause any harm, but still, it’s a good thing to practice caution and follow the rules. It’s always a good thing to stretch your muscles before working out, as it will help avoid issues such as muscle pull or muscle injuries.
On top of that, don’t push too hard. If you experience discomfort or pain during exercise, take a break, and if the pain stays, you should consult your doctor. If you are starting, just start slow, stay consistent, and you won’t get any harm.
If I Exercise, Will I Still Need My Parkinson’s Medication?
If you are in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, physical exercise might help you a bit, but it’s not a replacement for medications. So, yes, you will still need to take your prescribed medication even if you are doing exercise.
Should I Talk To My Therapist Before I Start Exercising?
Yes, it’s very important that you talk to your physical therapist and neurologist before you start exercising, as they can offer better advice based on your overall health. So, I’d recommend that you should contact your doctor before you start exercising.
Where Can I Get The Help If I Want To Exercise With Parkinson’s Disease?
The first way to get help is from your physical therapist. Similarly, you can also join your local and online Parkinson’s Disease support groups, where you can interact with other PD patients and get motivation.
Does Parkinson’s Get Worse With Exercise?
If you are doing the exercise properly, it won’t get worse, and instead, you will experience some positive changes in your body. However, if you are pushing too hard or not following proper techniques, exercise can prove to be counter-productive, and you can get injured.
How Often Should Parkinson’s Patients Exercise?
It mainly depends on your stamina, but the experts recommend that PD Patients should exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day 3-4 times per week. However, more is the better, so if you feel that you can do more, an extra round or rep won’t hurt.
Also, make sure to check out my post on Can You Be Fired For Having Parkinson’s Disease?
Physical exercise is one of the best ways to fight Parkinson’s Disease at its early stages and slow its progress. So if you have early Parkinson’s, I recommend that you should start exercising, and you will see a noticeable improvement in a few weeks.
I hope that you found this guide useful, and if you liked it, don’t forget to share it within your circle. Also, if you have any questions or recommendations for other Parkinson’s Patients, you can use the comment section below.
Hi. This is me Hira Naz. I am becoming a clinical psychologist. I am done with my majors and doing some diplomas to pursue my career in counseling. Along with Psychology, I am pursuing my passion for writing. I try to provide all the necessary insights to help and advise the elderly and disabled.