Exercises are really necessary for any human being. They help us fight diseases, lose weight, keep fit and also boost our moods.
In this article, we will be looking at the importance of exercises for Parkinson’s patients as well as some of the home exercises that you could engage in.
Importance of exercise for PD
When you have Parkinson’s disease, it is really important that you exercise so as to maintain balance and ability to walk. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle where all you do is wake up, have your caregiver carry you to a TV chair and spend the whole day there, you are likely to deteriorate easily.
You will have a poor gait, increased levels of stress, anxiety and depression. You will also not be able to sleep at night.
Your quality of life will also worsen and everyone will see you as one who is dependent on others to live. You really do not want to be entirely dependent on other people or for them to see you as a bother, do you?
Research done by the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project clearly show that patients who start exercising immediately they discover that they have PD are highly likely to lead a better life as compared to those who start exercising much later. And according to the research outcomes, you do not need to exercise for a long period of time per week.
No, 2.5 hours per week is enough to set you on a better quality of life.
Exercises to do at home when you have Parkinson’s
The type of exercise that you adopt depends on how advanced your Parkinson’s disease is as well as how mobile you are. For people whose PD has gone to advanced stages, they might not be able to do Yoga or walk but will be able to pedal on a stationary bike.
That said, here is a list of the most popular exercises that you can engage in:
- Walking and hiking
- Table tennis
- Tai chi
- Forced cycling on stationary bike
- Dancing–could be done solo or as a group exercise
- Swimming in different strokes
- Weightlifting with light weights
- Non contact boxing
For all the above exercises, you are advised to adopt randomness and change of direction as much as possible since this stimulates your brain as well as your body.
Parkinson.org advises that before engaging in any exercise, you really need to adopt safety. First talk to a neurologist or doctor on what exercises are healthy for you.
If possible, you are also advised to talk to a physical therapist who knows about Parkinson so that you can work out an exercise plan that you will adopt.
Challenges to exercising
When patients start exercising, they have zeal and strength to do it. But as they progress and their health deteriorates, they lack muscle strength to do it. Your cardiovascular conditioning also declines so that you cannot endure a jog that you were doing before.