Exercise Program

stretchExercise is typically separated into categories that focus on cardiovascular endurance (cardio), strength (resistance), agility and balance and flexibility. A well rounded exercise plan will include all of these categories in equal proportions. Exercise can be done with or without equipment. The best exercise will be a program that is both interesting and doable. For instance, a daily walk on a flat surface can be beneficial for strength and low level cardiovascular endurance. When adding a walk that includes a slight incline or adding more distance, the body will respond accordingly and improvement in your exercise ability will follow. 

There is no age limit to gaining benefit from exercise so it is never too late to start. The body can adapt negatively when we are sedentary but more importantly, the body can adapt positively to any form of exercise if done routinely. 

Balance Your Exercise Program
Endurance and High Intensity

Will improve stamina, mood, energy level, cardiopulmonary health. High intensity exercise (cardio) may improve PD motor symptoms and promote neuroprotection. These exercises will increase your heart rate

  • Fast paced walking
  • Jogging and running
  • Rowing
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
Flexibility and Strength

Both are reduced with aging and PD. Loss of flexibility and strength will reduce stamina, energy, impair posture and walking. You can find exercises classes with this focus but can also 

  • Weight training
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
Balance and Agility

Important for walking, power and coordination. Look for exercises that challenge you to move in 'new' ways

  • Yoga
  • Tai chi
  • Dance
PD Specific

Brain changes associated with PD cause characteristic changes in movement. Physical therapy and repated PD specific programs promote movements designed to combat these changes

  • Big instead of small movements
  • Loud instead of soft movements
  • Fast or powerful instead of slow
  • Controlled instead of movements without control
Problem Specific

If balance and walking is your problem, choose exercises that require walking and help balance and stamina. If speech is a problem add singing and talking to your routine.

Personal Considerations
  • Do what you enjoy
  • Add variety
  • Join a group or class
  • Use the senses- sight, sounds, music, dance, touch
  • Engage mind and body
  • Try something new, challenging or rewarding