In recent years, the evidence backing the benefits of exercise for Parkinson’s has grown rapidly. There have been many types of exercise that has been proven to improve, function and quality of life for those with Parkinson‘s.
A frequently asked question is, what’s the best exercise for Parkinson’s? Well, it’s not what exercise or activity you choose, but how you do it.
It’s all about the amplitude of the movement. Amplitude training is when you focus on making the movement as big and as powerful as you can.
Many people living with Parkinson’s have difficulty performing daily tasks. They can’t get out of bed as easily as they used to, and often takes multiple attempts. They need to use their hands to help them get out of a chair or they are shuffling when they walk.
Although strength and balance may be an issue, often these can be improved with amplitude training.
When you have Parkinson’s, your brain is telling your body that the size, or amplitude needed to perform a movement (like standing up from a chair or getting out of bed) is less than what is actually required.
To explain this concept, it’s like when you are driving and there are speed limits. Your brain believes the speed limit is 40 km when everybody else is moving at 60 km. Subsequently, it often takes multiple attempts to do the intended movement – and as a result is also more fatiguing.
Now, if you were driving on a highway and are consistently being passed you would get the hint and put your foot on the accelerator to keep up with all the other cars.
With amplitude training, the therapist or trainer you work with helps to be that guide and show you how BIG your movements actually need to be in order to complete those tasks that are most difficult.
Studies have shown that exercises or activities that focused on the amplitude of movement can benefit people living with Parkinson’s. This then leads to improved quality of life and independence with mobility.
There are many therapists that are trained in amplitude training and many specifically for those with Parkinson’s
Amplitude training and reinforcing BIG movements can not only improve the ability to perform daily tasks better, with less fatigue, but other areas including balance and speed of walking improve as well.
So get moving BIG! Your body will thank you.
For more information, make a free call to the Parkinson’s NSW HealthLine on 1800 644 189
and speak with one of our Specialist Parkinson’s Health Team.