Exercising to Manage Parkinson’s? Keep These 6 Things in Mind

Exercising to manage PD

While exercising on regular basis is a healthy habit for everyone, for Parkinson’s Fighters, it’s a need for maintaining balance, mobility and daily activities. Working out not only looks after many PD symptoms but also helps PD fighters sleep better and say goodbye to mild depression and low self-esteem.

However, to make the most of your exercise regimen, it is important to work out in a safe environment, with the right intensity and weight. Confused? Don’t worry; we are here to help. Mentioned below are a few things that you should keep in mind while exercising for Parkinson’s.

1. Talk to an expert

Since everybody’s Parkinson’s is different, a standard plan cannot fit into your exercise regime. If you are following a regime that you have googled online, then perhaps it’s the time to cross check it with a physician. Generally, a frequency for Parkinson’s workout should be 3 to 6 days per week. Duration of workout advised is 30 to 60 minutes.

2. Play safe

Always workout in a safe environment. Avoid slippery floor, poor lighting and loose objects around you. In fact, it may be best to train in an environment where others are around to help. If you walk to the Physical Therapy center for exercising, use a Laser Cane to break freezing while walking. Regardless of your condition, you should always warm up, either by stretching or mild cardio.

3. Exercise the right way

Understand that maintaining right posture while exercising is important for any individual. Feedback plays a very important role in exercising correctly. It can be provided by the physical therapist (in case you are exercising in a therapy center) or a full-length mirror (particularly when you are exercising it at home).

4. Pay attention to your breathing

Keep a tab on your breathing pattern and heart rate. Breathing should never be labored and heart rate should never cross the max heart rate. For example, if you are 70 years old, then your max heart rate should never cross 230 beats per minute. You can calculate your max heart rate using the formula 280-(0.7xAge).

5. Avoid healthy weights

Pay attention to your stability while engaging large muscle groups such as Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Calf, Biceps and Forearm. Avoid using heavy weights during the workout as this may result in increased rigidity. Take adequate rest between exercises.

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6. Know your limits

As exercising regularly helps slow the progression of the disease, it may sound okay to assume that “more is better”. However, you need to understand that your body is still struggling with several strength, balance, coordination, flexibility and endurance issues. Know your limits and exercise in a way that is safe for you.

If you are tired during the day, have trouble sleeping, and have low motivation, it could be a sign of overtraining. Talk to your Physician or Physical Therapist. They will help you readjust the workout frequency or intensity.

This Blog is contributed by Dr. Deepak Kr. Nain. He is a certified therapist who specializes in the field of rehabilitation. Deepak possesses a clinical expertise in prescribing the best solutions to help people with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS).


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