What Are the Best Types of Exercise for Parkinson’s

What if a Parkinson’s diagnosis didn’t keep you from an active lifestyle?

You can enjoy a happier and more active life by performing the right kind of exercise for Parkinson’s. Unfortunately, many who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s don’t know where to start, especially if they don’t have the guidance of a good physical trainer.

That’s where we come in. Our guide will help you discover the best and most effective types of exercise for Parkinson’s!

Finding the Best Exercise for Parkinson’s

If you’re reading this, you’re ready to dive into different kinds of exercises and their benefits. But it’s natural to wonder if there is a single best exercise for Parkinson’s out there.

The honest answer is both “yes” and “no.” There is no single exercise that is universally the best choice for every person who has Parkinson’s. Instead, you must discover what works best for your goals, your lifestyle, and your motivation.

With all that being said, certain types of exercise offer different kinds of benefits. Our guide is split up by the different exercises you can perform and what they can do for your body.

Coordination and Agility Exercises

One of the biggest side effects of Parkinson’s is that it causes coordination and agility issues. If you would like to combat these issues directly, both dancing and boxing can be very effective.

What makes these exercises so effective? The short answer is that both exercises require changes in tempo and direction, and the regular movements will naturally build up your coordination and agility.

Another major benefit of these exercises is that they require immense concentration. And this kind of concentration can be good for your mind as well as good for your body.

Balance Exercises

Parkinson’s can have a major impact on your ability to safely balance. If you’d like some exercises to work on your balance, then we recommend taking up either Yoga or Tai Chi.

What makes these kinds of exercises so beneficial? In general, both Yoga and Tai Chi offer stretching exercises that help you build your balance back up. At the same time, they help to strengthen your muscles while even providing some pleasant aerobic exercise.

Beyond the physical benefits, Yoga and Tai Chi are also good for the mind. The concentration required to perform specific movements can help keep your mind in shape, and many people around the world find regular Yoga and Tai Chi exercises very relaxing.

Limited Mobility Exercises

So far, the exercises we have recommended assume that you have enough mobility to regularly complete them. But what if you have major mobility or balance issues that keep you from performing these exercises?

In that case, we recommend seated aerobic exercises. This is just what it sounds like: special exercises that you can complete while sitting in a chair. These exercises may range from lifting weights to leg lifts and stretches.

Even though you are sitting down, these exercises help to get your heart rate up and burn calories while also improving your balance, coordination, and strength. Should your mobility improve, you can always try some of the other exercises we have mentioned.

Muscle Cramp Relief Exercises

Many with Parkinson’s suffer from dystonia. If you’re not familiar with the term, “dystonia” refers to muscle cramping, and these cramps typically affect your calves, feet, and/or toes.

To help deal with this kind of cramping, we recommend that you perform some low-impact exercises. Walking around the neighborhood is a good example of this, or you could try out different kinds of water aerobics.

Additionally, you may want to target certain muscles. By stretching your active muscles and strengthening their opposing muscles, you can finally fight back against these painful cramps.

Finding Your Limits

Remember when we said there is no “one size fits all” exercise for those with Parkinson’s? Similarly, everyone with Parkinson’s has their own limits when it comes to exercise.

Your best bet is to start small and work your way up. For example, you can exercise for a few minutes and see how you are feeling. You can always do more exercise if you feel fine, but it’s best to not try to do too much in a short amount of time.

And don’t forget that whatever exercise you choose, you will eventually be able to go longer and further. Simply build your strength and endurance over time, and stay in contact with a good physical therapist to make sure you don’t push yourself too far.

The Benefits of Exercise for Parkinson’s

Previously, we reviewed some of the specific benefits that certain exercise has when it comes to certain Parkinson’s side effects. But beyond those specific benefits, there are many other reasons why you should engage in regular exercise.

One of the biggest additional benefits is that regular exercise may slow down the progression of the disease. It is no substitute for your medication, but exercise potentially slow down the progression while also offering benefits for your brain.

Specifically, the exercises can boost the trophic factors that increase the mitochondria your brain needs. And exercise will also help you make more efficient use of the dopamine your brain already has.

Working With a Physical Trainer

The different exercises for Parkinson’s disease can work wonders for your body and mind. But just as exercise is no substitute for taking your medication, it is also no replacement for seeing a good physical trainer.

Why are physical trainers so important? First of all, they can help you to learn these different exercises. It’s usually much easier to learn from a dedicated trainer than simply watching videos online. 

Second of all, the right personal trainer will do more than teach you how to exercise. They can also provide special training that offers the most effective exercises and instruction for increasing your mobility and coordination, decreasing pain, and generally improving your quality of life. 

To enjoy the benefits of such a program, come to sign up on the waitlist for the Parkinson’s Success System today!

What’s Next?

Now you know why exercise for Parkinson’s is so important. But do you know who can help you discover which exercises work best for your condition and lifestyle?

At Training For All Ages, we have the training and experience necessary to help you master exercises for Parkinson’s disease. To see what we can do for you, contact us today!

Jonathan Rose wants as many people as possible to reap the amazing benefits of exercising regularly and eating healthy.  He provides people with exercise programs that are specifically designed for them to set them up for success to get on a well rounded exercise program helping them:  get stronger, more flexible, reduce weight and body fat if needed, improve posture, improve balance, mobility and agility, as well as stamina.  

Since 1992 he has been training children, adults and seniors to help them get in their best shape.  He specializes in working with seniors and people with Parkinson’s. He is very concerned about older people getting regular exercise so they have the strength, mobility and balance to live their lives and to decrease their vulnerability to falling.  He also trains caregivers and family members to help incorporate exercise in the people they are taking care of.  He develops programs for people who have Parkinson’s to manage and reduce their symptoms and teaches the caregivers and family members to help manage as well.  He teaches them exercises and stretches to do.  

Jonathan has a degree in Exercise Science and is a NASM Master Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Senior Specialist, Weight Loss Specialist, and Behavior Change Specialist.  He is also a Corrective Exercise Specialist in The Biomechanics Method as well as has two certifications by Gary Gray, Certification in Applied Functional Science and 3D Maps.

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