The stoPD team has witnessed firsthand the positive impact that physical exercise can have on someone diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. This is where stoPD began, giving people tools to attain a higher quality of living.
Why Exercise Is Important for Parkinson’s Disease:
- Exercise is medicine, so don’t miss a dose. Exercise has been proven to build a healthier heart, lungs, and muscles, boost metabolism, prevent diabetes, and reduce disability. Research shows that exercise can slow many aspects of the physical decline of PD and new research also suggests that exercise may even be neuroprotective – that is, slowing the progression of PD in the brain.
- Be realistic – something is better than nothing. There is no perfect one-size-fits-all exercise for people with Parkinson’s Don’t wait. Start walking around the block or dancing.
- Have fun. Consistency is critical and if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick with it. Research shows that people stick with exercise when there is encouragement and an expectation for you to show up.
- Exercise for your whole being. Exercise isn’t just good for your body. Other issues related to Parkinson’s disease – like depression, sleep, and constipation – could also be positively affected by exercise and activity. “…Exercise may be conceptualized as a non-pharmacological equivalent of antidepressant medication, which is presumed to exert its effects by modifying brain chemical systems.” – Exercise for Mood and Anxiety Disorders (Smits & Otto, 2009)
- Use exercise to take control of your PD. People with Parkinson’s are robbed of so much control in their lives, but exercise is one thing you can control and in the process, create a better quality of life for yourself.
Source: Davis Phinney Foundation