Exercise & Parkinson’s

For those living with Parkinson’s, it can be especially difficult finding a workout routine that works out for you! Most routines can be cardio-heavy, slightly spastic, and not so in tune with the needs of the individual. 

Luckily, there are a myriad of workout guides that are made especially for those living with Parkinson’s. If you are looking for a guideline for effective exercise, here are some simple methods to make sure your workout routine is successful for you!

Choose your environment wisely

To start, you’ll want to choose your workout spot. If you are like many other elderly individuals, you’re probably staying indoors more than usual. This means that there has been a surge of those working out from the comfort of their own home. Even though this may seem convenient, it’s best to choose an area that is friendly to exercise. 

Choose a spot with an even, non-slippery floor. Make sure this space is well lit, and that you can plainly see everything in your vicinity. Have yourself, or a home health aide, move any extra items from the workout area. These can include throw rugs, loose wires, or the errant sock.

Consider the pool

A great way to ensure an effective and successful work out is to practice in the pool! The low gravity that occurs when submerged in water is perfect for those living with Parkinson’s symptoms. This is because achy joints are subjected to less pressure when placed in a body of water. 

Pool exercise is also effective because it is more forgiving for those patients living with compromised balance. Staying upright in the pool is much easier than staying upright on the land!

Always warm up & cool down

One of the best ways to ensure any workout is a success, is to effectively warm up prior to the exercise and cool down after it. According to the American Heart Association, “A good warm-up before a workout dilates your blood vessels, ensuring that your muscles are well supplied with oxygen.” Warming up before a workout allows the body time to slowly acclimate into the heightened state of performance. 

For Parkinson’s patients, this allows a period of stretching and lactic acid release. This effectively helps cushion the body from any potential harm that could occur during the workout. 

While the warm up acts as a preventative measure before working out, the cool down helps soothe any problem areas that occurred during the workout!

If you have any questions about how to exercise with Parkinson’s, reach out to your home health aid from your nursing agency, for help.