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Live well and long with regular exercise..


Regular high intensity movements can delay the symptoms!

In early stage Parkinson’s disease, regular physical activity can slow the progression of the disease. It can also improve long term clinical outcomes. Studies have shown that high intensity exercise can improve motor function. Dance therapy can improve the balance and stability. Recent study has indicated that regular exercise can change the progression of the disease over the longer term. Patients with early-stage PD who took 4 hours of moderate-to-vigorous exercise each week had a slower decline in balancing and walking compared to those who took less exercise.

Symptoms like postural and gait stability, processing speed, which are had to be improved by drugs, can be most improved by exercise. Exercise should be used in conjunction with the drug therapy.

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Tips for living well despite PD

The author has compiled a list of activities that may be helpful. Before starting an exercise plan or changing your diet, one must consult with the medical team. The key is to keep the goals simple and attainable, tackling one thing at a time. Be patient with yourself. Include your family — a healthy lifestyle is for everyone!


Simple activities and one minute meditation is good. Physical activities like walk, tossing a ball from one hand to other may help. Adding cognitive exercises may be even better – like toss the ball and spell your name. Using water bottles like dumbbells or pulling towel with both hands could be helpful.


Mindfulness can help. One can try apps, books, soft music, and breathing techniques.

Healthy eating:

Drinking water, having well-balanced diet can be helpful.

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Long term benefits of exercise

A study suggests that in the long-term, maintenance of high regular physical activity levels and exercise habits may lead to better clinical course of PD, with each type of physical activity having different effects. Average regular overall physical activity levels over time were significantly associated with slower deterioration of postural and gait stability. Moderate-to-vigorous exercise levels were preferentially associated with slower decline of postural and gait stability and work-related activity levels were primarily associated with slower deterioration of processing speed.

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Aerobic exercise to the rescue!

According to a recent clinical trial, aerobic exercise can stabilize progression of motor symptoms and also improves cognitive function in patients of Parkinson’s Disease. This also leads to increased neuronal connectivity in brain areas controlling such functions and with reduced brain atrophy. Interestingly, two independent trials have come up with the above conclusion. These findings suggest aerobic exercise may strengthen a compensatory brain mechanism that increases connectivity between cortical sensorimotor regions and the anterior putamen, and stabilizes motor function.

Six months of aerobic exercise also improved patients’ cognitive control, which was associated with increased functional connectivity between two brain networks involved in such function. Notably, greater increases in this network connectivity were associated with greater fitness improvements in these patients.

Moreover, patients undergoing aerobic exercise had significantly reduced global brain shrinkage relative to those in the stretching group.

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Even a little exercise may help

A few hours of exercise a week may help slow Parkinson's disease, even if it's just moderate activity such as walking or gardening, a new study suggests.

While medication can help in managing the symptoms, it doesn’t slow down the progression. regular physical activity, including household tasks and moderate exercise, may actually improve the course of the disease over the long run. Best is exercise is low cost and has no side effects. While their activity levels at the outset did not affect the progression of their Parkinson's, those who regularly got at least four hours a week of moderate to vigorous exercise during follow-up had slower declines in balance and walking ability than those who were less active.

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