The benefits of exercise for the general population are well recognised. They include preventing heart disease, reducing the risk of chronic illness, decreasing stress and generally boosting wellbeing.
However, people living with Parkinson’s benefit far more from exercise than the average person in the street. Specific benefits for the Parkinson’s community include:
- Improved overall quality of life
- Reduced speed of disease progression
- Improved muscle control (dyskinesia and freezing) making you stronger and reducing cramping and pain
- Reduced social isolation
- Improved management of constipation and bladder control
- Improved bradykinesia (slow movement)
- Reduced tremor
- Improved mobility and flexibility of rigid muscles
- Improve posture (the Parkinson’s stoop)
- Improved physical stability and balance
- Reduce automatic movements
- Improved speech and throat muscles – which in turn improves eating, swallowing and spoken communication
- Slows handwriting changes
- Enhanced efficacy of Levodopa therapy
- Reduced fatigue
- Improved management of gait disturbances
- Improved cognitive function
- Reduced depression, anxiety, apathy, and emotional changes
All exercise is good, but working with a Parkinson’s-experienced Personal Trainer will tailor and maximise its benefits.
An educated and experienced trainer will help to motivate you, maximise the effectiveness of each exercise and reduce risk of injury. They will work with you to develop a personalised exercise plan to meet your personal goals, and then ensure your exercise is fun, varied, engaging and challenging.
Going after achievable, small goals and then working up to larger goals will give you a sense of pride and progress in what you are doing. A trainer can also help you manage your time better – enabling more exercises in a shorter period of time to fit in with your busy life.
Most convincing of all: Research evidence has shown that people living with Parkinson’s who exercise with a trainer derive more benefits than those who don’t.
Parkinson’s NSW has a qualified and Parkinson’s experienced Exercise Physiologist on staff who is also a Personal Trainer.
She can provide advice over the phone, set up and lead Parkinson’s exercise groups and provide individual Personal Training in Sydney.
Want to know more about the benefits of exercise for people living with Parkinson’s, and the added value that an experienced Personal Trainer can bring?
Phone the Parkinson’s NSW InfoLine: 1800 644 189
References and Resources
FJ Penedo, JR Dahn, Exercise and well-being: a review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity. Current opinion in psychiatry, 2005
DER Warburton, CW Nicol, SSD Bredin, Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence 2006, Canadian Medical Association.