The benefits of exercise as part of a healthy life-style are well known. For many, knowing what form of exercise and where to start can be quite intimidating. For those with Parkinson's disease the idea of incorporating new, unfamiliar, and often intimidating movements can create a barrier that may seem insurmountable. Where do you start, when starting in itself feels impossible? In this post, we will discuss the benefits of building strength for those with Parkinson's disease and considerations to take when starting a new exercise program.
Parkinson's disease is characterized by four cardinal symptoms: tremors, bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural instability. Strength training is a form of exercise that performs movements against a form of resistance (bodyweight, free weights, machine resistance, band resistance, etc.). Strength training offers a variety a benefits to the individual with Parkinson's disease. As with the general population, strength training improves strength and endurance. It reduces the risk for other chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease. Strength training also affects the brain by making dopamine more efficiently available, increasing the number of D2 (dopamine) receptors, and protecting dopamine neurons from damage.
For the individual with Parkinson's disease strength training offers a number of benefits:
Are you considering starting a strength training program or new exercise routine? My advice is to take the guess work and fear out of your journey by partnering with a personal trainer who understands Parkinson's disease. Your personal trainer can help guide you through safe, effective exercises. Always start with a consultation with your physician. Request information on your symptoms and medications and how they might affect you and accommodations that might need to be made. Share this information with your personal trainer.
Remember the benefits of exercise and strength training are for everyone; find a buddy and partner up for additional support. Building strength with Parkinson's disease is an empowering journey; be patient, be persistent, be strong.
Natalie is a Registered Nurse and Certified Personal Trainer with Well Built Coaching. She has worked with individuals with Parkinson's disease for more than a decade and is passionate about supporting her clients through health changes, life challenges and the pursuit of their wellness goals.
Natalie Hodge, RN
Founder, Well Built Coaching
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Exciting new software with Apple watches. Apple received the clearance from the FDA. This new software on an Apple watch will automatically track the patients symptoms like tremors, and it lets the patients report these symptoms as well as medication usage. This could be very helpful information to have for appointments with Neurologist.
StrivePD uses Apple’s Movement Disorder API.
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