Exercises to manage Parkinson’s disease

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Exercise can be an important part of your Parkinson’s disease management plan. It offers physical and mental benefits to improve your overall well-being and quality of life.

Certain types of exercise are particularly useful for building strength, improving balance, and developing better posture. You can also improve your mobility and range of motion, making everyday life easier.

Read on to find out which exercises can help manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and how to do them correctly.

There are several types of exercise you can do to manage Parkinson’s disease. You can create a varied routine based on your specific concerns, level of fitness, and general health.

Try to do at least a few minutes of movement each day. Include exercises that improve cardiovascular health, flexibility, and strength. If you change your exercises every week. your body can learn new ways to move.

There are different types of exercise that can be especially helpful for people with Parkinson’s disease, including:

  • physiotherapy and occupational therapy
  • yoga
  • aerobic

Next, we’ll walk you through specific exercises that you can try out in each of these categories.

Physiotherapy exercises target your areas of concern. They can help you build strength, balance, and coordination. You will also improve your functional mobility by improving concentration, flexibility and range of motion.

Occupational therapy exercises are intended to make it easier for you to perform daily activities related to work, school or home.

Single leg support

This exercise helps improve standing balance and the ability to walk. It also develops stability, strength and confidence.

For support, put your hands on a wall or on the back of a chair.

  1. Place your weight on your less dominant leg.
  2. Slowly lift your opposite foot off the ground.
  3. Hold for 20 seconds. Try to use your arms as little as possible for balance.
  4. Lower your foot to the ground.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

Wrist loops

Hand exercises help increase stability, reduce tremors, and improve finger and hand dexterity.

For this exercise, use a 1 to 5 pound dumbbell.

  1. Place your left hand and wrist on the edge of a table with the palm facing up.
  2. Hold the weight in your hand.
  3. Slowly move your wrist as far as you can.
  4. Hold this position for a few seconds.
  5. Do 1 to 2 sets of 12 repetitions.
  6. Repeat on the other side.

Yoga exercises develop balance, improve flexibility and improve concentration. They also help with mindfulness in the body. Yoga has a positive effect on breathing and helps promote relaxation.

A little 2018 study found that people with Parkinson’s disease who did yoga twice a week for 8 weeks significantly reduced their risk of falls compared to the control group. The yoga group also showed improvements in postural stability, as well as functional and icy gait.

Child pose (Balasana)

This slight forward curvature relieves mental and physical fatigue and promotes a feeling of inner calm. It also relaxes your hips, thighs, and ankles. In addition, it relieves tightness and back discomfort.

For extra support, place a pillow under your forehead, torso, or buttocks.

  1. Sit on your heels with your knees together or slightly apart.
  2. Hinge at your hips to fold forward.
  3. Extend your arms out in front of you or rest your arms at your sides.
  4. Place your forehead on the floor or on a cushion.
  5. Relax deeply, let go of all the tension in your body.
  6. Hold this pose for up to 5 minutes.

Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

This endurance-building pose improves balance while stretching and strengthening your body.

  1. From a standing position, step your left foot back and turn your toes to the left slightly at an angle.
  2. Keep your toes straight facing forward and open your hips to the side.
  3. Raise your arms so that they are parallel to the floor, lowering your palms.
  4. Bend your right knee until it is behind or above your ankle.
  5. Press down on both feet, lengthen your spine, and feel a line of energy moving from your fingertips front to back.
  6. Look ahead towards the tip of your middle finger.
  7. Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
  8. Repeat on the other side.

Modifications:

  • Place a chair under your front thigh.
  • Stand against a wall, leaning over it as needed.
  • Lower your back knee to the floor.
  • Bring your feet together.

Aerobic exercise improves flexibility, improves mobility and builds strength. They improve your cardiovascular health and lung function while burning calories.

Research of 2020 highlights the effectiveness of aerobic exercise in improving fitness and motor symptoms in people with Parkinson’s disease. Larger and more in-depth studies examining the long-term benefits of aerobic exercise are needed.

Contactless boxing

This activity improves strength, speed and agility. It also increases endurance, balance, and hand-eye coordination.

To learn non-contact boxing, join a class at your local fitness center, hire a private teacher, or try the moves described below.

Punches

  1. Stand with your feet below your hips, or slightly wider for better balance.
  2. Make fists and place them in front of your shoulders with your palms facing forward.
  3. Point your left fist forward, fully extending your arm.
  4. Return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat on the other side.
  6. This is a repetition.
  7. Do 1 to 2 sets of 20 repetitions.

Combined punches

  1. Stand with your feet below your hips, or slightly wider for better balance.
  2. Make fists and place them in front of your shoulders with your palms facing inward.
  3. Point your left fist upward, fully extending your arm.
  4. Return to the starting position.
  5. Then strike your left fist against your body, fully extending your arm.
  6. Return to the starting position.
  7. Repeat on the other side.
  8. This is a repetition.
  9. Do 1 to 2 sets of 20 repetitions.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that causes problems with movement. These can include tremors, stiffness, and problems with walking, balance, and coordination.

Parkinson’s disease can also cause speech problems and side effects, including depression, pain, and trouble sleeping.

Parkinson’s disease affects cells in the area of ​​the midbrain known as the substantia nigra. This part of the brain produces dopamine and is linked to reward and movement. Parkinson’s disease kills black matter cells, reducing dopamine levels and causing symptoms to appear.

Resources for coping with Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder and there is currently no cure. However, there are many ways to manage this condition.

Use these articles as a resource to learn more about this disease and ways to manage it:

Regular exercise has a positive effect on people with Parkinson’s disease. There are many Parkinson’s exercise videos online, or you can choose to join a class in your area.

Talk to a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program. They can recommend the best exercises for your needs and help you find the right intensity, duration, and frequency for your workouts.

As always, listen to your body and honor the changes you feel every day. Go at your own pace, do whatever feels right to you, and be easy on yourself.

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