April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and a perfect opportunity to bring attention to the disease, the needs of patients, and treatments. In this blog post, we want to talk about exercise for Parkinson’s (PD) and its impact on the disease. While it is widely known that exercise is important for maintaining overall health for everyone, there is evidence that exercise for Parkinson’s patients is critical for delaying decline and in helping with balance, mobility, and the activities of daily living.
In a study in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, researchers determined that regular exercise for Parkinson’s is essential to overall disease management. Lead investigator Miriam R. Rafferty, PhD, of Northwestern University and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, describes the main findings of the study. “We found that people with Parkinson’s disease who maintained exercise 150 minutes per week had a smaller decline in quality of life and mobility over two years compared to people who did not exercise or exercised less. The smaller decline was significant for people who started the study as regular exercisers, as well as for people who started to exercise 150 minutes per week after their first study-related visit.”
There is no Holy Grail exercise for Parkinson’s prescription because everyone should have a program that is unique to his or her symptoms and challenges. However, cycling, running, Tai chi yoga, Pilates, weight training, no impact boxing, and more have shown to have positive effects. In addition, recent studies have suggested that short bursts of vigorous exercise for Parkinson’s may work even better than longer sessions of moderate activity. Besides being more efficient than traditional moderate exercise, research suggests that high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is also more effective at improving a range of disease symptoms from heart disease, stroke, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, according to The New York Times.
When it comes to convenient access to quality low impact aerobic upper and lower body cycling activity and resistance training home exercise for Parkinson’s, Excy is hard to beat to safely cycle yourself strong anywhere. But, when it comes down to it, we suggest finding an exercise for Parkinson’s that you enjoy to increase the odds that you will stick with it. After all, the exercise barriers of time, injury, boredom, and self-confidence are exacerbated when one is facing a chronic condition like Parkinson’s, so why not pick something you like!
For Bob, a former marathon runner diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he enjoys a wide variety when it comes to exercise for Parkinson’s. This includes boxing, dancing, and Excy cycling. At Excy, we have focused on eliminating as many exercise obstacles as possible, especially for those who are battling health conditions. For Bob, he has found that exercising with Excy at home from his couch while watching TV with his wife is something he enjoys to help squeeze more exercise in his life. Hear his perspective here:
Excy is unique in its ability to provide a full-fledged exercise bike for lower and upper body cycling, but in a tiny package with some great features and benefits for Parkinson’s, including:
- Lightweight, Compact, and Easy to Use: 14 Lbs. Small footprint. Folds for easy storage and transport. Setup is simple for individuals or groups. Use indoors or outdoors. Easy to do while watching TV. Stationary recumbent bike, upper body ergometer, desk cycle and more.
- Versatility for Broadest Range of Disabilities, Injuries, and Conditions: Low impact on joints. Full body exercise facilitation from a chair, table, bed, and floor. Perfect for low or high intensity aerobic and anaerobic exercises for anyone.
- Unmatched Bi-Directional Resistance: 2-70 Lbs. of adjustable resistance. Large knob. Perfect to build strength, endurance, and stamina to promote balance and prevent falls. Amazing cognitive training for mental health.
- High Quality Heavy Duty Metal Construction: Engineered for maximum stability for indoor or outdoor use, clinicians, and facilities. Designed and manufactured in the U.S.A.
- Live, Ondemand, and Guided Anywhere Coaching: Free Android and iOS mobile coach offers up fresh new ideas and tracks results! It’s like having a coach in your back pocket.
In the U.S. doctors diagnose as many as 60,000 new cases each year and more than 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease. Research shows that the sooner we can get people exercising the better. As we celebrate Parkinson’s’ Awareness Month, make sure to explore the power of exercise for Parkinson’s. You should always consult a doctor before starting a new exercise program.