Exercise effects at managing and reducing symptoms of Parkinson’s

People who have Parkinson’s respond very well to exercise and can help manage and reduce many of the symptoms through increasing the dopamine efficiency in the body.   Most people with Parkinson’s are on medication to help manage and reduce their Parkinson’s symptoms.  Through working with a number of people with Parkinson’s over the years I have personally found that the medication helps tremendously, however when a person incorporates regular exercise their bodies functions much better.  One of my clients doctor said exercise is one of the best things one can do who has Parkinson’s.

Jonathan has a number of clients who have Parkinson’s ranging from 47 to 91 and from beginning stages to advanced.  Jonathan has developed specific exercise programs tailor made to the individual to help them:  move better, have better balance, reduce their rigidity, improve their balance and flexibility, increase their stamina and reduce their body fat.

Jonathan has helped train the family and caregivers to work with the person having Parkinson’s in order for them to get regular exercise to help manage and reduce their symptoms.

Through researching people who have Parkinson’s it has been found that they function better through higher intensity training versus moderate intensity, like walking at a moderate pace.  Here are a few of the higher intensity programs:

  •  a circuit training program incorporating intervals of walking and seated, standing or lying down exercises.
  • interval training on a cardiovascular piece of equipment like a bike, treadmill, or stairmaster where the speed or intensity is changed.
  • interval training of running with jogging or even sprinting.
  • interval training of altered walking speeds; walking fast to walking at a moderate pace.

Exercise helps greatly to increase the dopamine efficiency in the body and can help lessen the amount of medication needed if one is on any.  Exercise helps the body function more effectively.

Rigidity is a very prevalent symptom of people who have Parkinson’s ranging from them feeling an overall feeling of stiffness to where there body stiffens in different positions.  Many people feel stuck and they don’t know what to do.  The person winds up staying molded in positions which they don’t necessarily have to.  I have a client whose arm gets very stiff and rigid.  When I attempt to stretch the bicep by extending the arm I feel a lot of resistance from the muscle and the muscle feels like it has formed into a ball.  I stretched the arm out through a combination of active (holding for one or two seconds) and static stretching (holding for 20-30 seconds).  I have experienced the muscle eventually loosens.  I had a client I trained whose upper back rounded a lot and he would get very stiff in that position. When I attempted to stretch his chest out it he would feel some pain and discomfort.  After stretching it out about 5 to 10 times through active and static stretching the muscle would loosen up, his feeling of pain would diminish and he would sit up better.

Another common effect from Parkinson’s is where one leans to one side.  I had a client who would be sitting in the chair and be leaning to one side.  I was able to stretch him the opposite way and his body straightened out.

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