Adults with Parkinson’s Symptoms Can Benefit Greatly from Exercise, Research Finds

senior man with Parkinson's symptoms exercising
Researchers believe that physical exercise produces many benefits for individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

The results of maintaining some form of exercise regimen throughout aging are remarkable, but for people that have Parkinson’s, it may truly be a game-changer regarding the progression of the disease. Several studies are displaying direct links between exercise and Parkinson’s, like the largest clinical study to date, in which patients who exercised no less than 2½ hours per week realized a higher total wellbeing compared to those who refrained from physical exercise. And that is only the start.

The onset of Parkinson’s symptoms develops following the loss of the brain cells that produce dopamine. Researchers believe that exercise makes it possible for the brain to recover lost connections, form new ones, and continue maintaining those that are established. Additional studies also show:

  • Gains were occurring in stride length, gait speed and balance after treadmill exercise – after as little as just one session, and persisting for a number of weeks afterwards.
  • Motor function and coordination were increased in those who pedaled faster on a stationary bike – once again, with results lasting for weeks after the study was over.
  • Noticeable improvements in the normalcy of movement were observed in those with Parkinson’s who participated in a regular exercise program compared to those that did not.

It’s important to mention that final results achieved were reliant upon consistent, ongoing exercise. The clinical tests reported that any protective benefits occurring were discontinued when the amount and intensity of physical exercise was reduced or was implemented for only a brief period of time. The necessary criteria for sustainable results appear to be the same as those essential to help those who’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury or stroke: intensity, specificity, difficulty and complexity.

Additional scientific studies are underway to hone in even further on the great things about physical exercise for individuals with Parkinson’s disease, as well as the precise reasoning behind it. For the time being, in the event your family member has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it is certainly advantageous to consult with his or her primary care physician for a recommended exercise regimen.

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, call Stay Home Care at 615-964-7726. Our professional in-home care services are available to boost wellbeing for persons with Parkinson’s disease, or another condition of aging throughout Brentwood. Email us for more information on senior solutions in Brentwood and the surrounding communities.