The Benefits of Exercise for People with Parkinson’s

Elderly man performing exercise for people with Parkinson’s.
Studies show there are many benefits of exercise for people with Parkinson’s.

The results of exercising throughout aging are fantastic, but for those with Parkinson’s, it may truly be a game-changer in the progression associated with the disease. Several studies are detailing the benefits of exercise for people with Parkinson’s, including the largest clinical study to date, in which patients who exercised no less than 2½ hours per week achieved a greater quality of life than those who refrained from physical activity. And that is just the beginning.

The onset of Parkinson’s symptoms develops following loss of the brain cells that make dopamine. Researchers think that exercise allows the brain to restore lost connections, form new ones, and keep those that are still in place. Additional studies also show:

  • Gains were realized in stride length, gait speed and balance after treadmill exercise – after as little as just one session, and enduring for several weeks afterwards.
  • Motor function and coordination were improved in people who pedaled at a faster rate on a stationary bike – once more, with results lasting for weeks after the study ended.
  • Noticeable improvements in the normalcy of movement were observed in individuals with Parkinson’s who participated in a routine exercise program when compared with people who did not.

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

Additional research is underway to hone in further on the benefits of exercising in those with Parkinson’s disease, as well as the precise reasoning behind it. For the time being, if your family member has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it is certainly advantageous to talk to his or her primary care physician for a recommended exercise routine.

For help with safe, dependable transportation and accompaniment to a doctor’s appointment or exercise program, or encouragement and inspiration to take part in a regular exercise routine in the home, contact Heaven at Home Senior Care at 940-380-0500.

Our professional in-home senior care in University Park and the surrounding areas is available to improve overall wellbeing for anyone with Parkinson’s disease, or another condition of aging. Email us to find out more.