For those who have Parkinson's, studies have proven that exercise is a MUST.
Studies in both humans and animals have shown that physical exercise, particularly aerobic exercise (walking, running, swimming, bicycling,) promotes the release of neurotrophic factors; chemicals that bathe brain cells in nutrients... in order to help brain cells resist degeneration and make connections with other brain cells. In addition, aerobic exercise increases the amount of blood and oxygen to the brain, thus enhancing virtually all brain functions. Decades of scientific work on exercise and the brain has taught us that intensive physical activity enhances brain function; and conversely, reductions in physical activity leads to the reduction in brain cell activity and brain cell interconnectivity.
That old principle of use it or lose it may apply here. Studies have proven that exercise improves physical functioning, strength, balance and gait speed. There is also evidence that exercise improves and elevates a person’s mood, as well as creating an improvement in mental abilities.
Given all of this good news about exercise, how do you begin an exercise program that is right for you? The first thing to do is to contact your doctor who can put you in touch with a personal trainer or physical therapist, one who has years of experience working with individuals living with PD (Parkinson's Disease.) Your doctor and trainer or therapist can devise an exercise program that is safe for you, one that will give you maximal benefit. And you are in luck here, because Craig Marks specializes in this-after his father years ago was diagnosed with Parkinson's and Craig created his popular program: Kinesio-Arts for people living with Parkinson's Disease or Multiple Sclerosis. It is a program near and dear to Craig's heart and soul. His knowledge about it is immense and Cleveland Clinic Neurology, Michael J Fox Foundation and the National Parkinson's Foundation are just a few places that recognize Craig for what he does and knows.
Craig's experience leads him to believe that: exercises should start with a warm-up and stretching/flexibility session where you systematically and gently stretch all those stiff muscle groups. After the warm-up period, you can begin the exercise session. It should consist of some aerobic exercise so that you can get your heart rate up for about 20 minutes or so. Then, there should be a balance, proprioception, coordination, strengthening and flexibility component.
If you have any questions, please reach Craig Marks at 954-707-9175 or send any emails to Craig@t3healthandfitness.com