It’s been established for a while that exercise is good for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) because it helps with their physical symptoms.
In fact, it is considered a major component in the treatment of PD because it improves their quality of life. However, researchers in Germany wondered if exercise might also benefit PD patients in terms of their cognitive abilities. What they found is encouraging.
About the Study
To determine the effect exercise might have on cognition in PD, the researchers looked at the existing body of evidence from past studies on PD and exercise. They analyzed the data from 11 studies which used a combined total of 508 participants who all had PD. 5 of the studies indicated that engaging in aerobic exercise improved the memory of people with PD. They also showed that when people combined exercises that worked on coordination with resistance exercises, they received cognitive benefits.
What Kind of Exercise Is Best?
The researchers are quick to point out that the results of their review aren’t conclusive and don’t indicate how specific kinds of exercise will impact cognition in people with PD. However, experts in the field of PD do have recommendations about the kinds of exercise that are generally beneficial and safe. For example, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research suggests that “The best exercise is one that is safe, enjoyable and that pushes [the PD patient].”
Exercise routines for people with PD should contain some of the same elements that others should include, such as:
- Stretching exercises.
- Aerobic activity.
- Strengthening exercises.
There are many kinds of exercise that include some or all of these elements and are safe for people with PD. Some kinds of exercise your aging relative could try are:
- Riding a stationary bicycle.
- Walking—either on a treadmill or not.
- Tai chi.
- Boxing, though without contact.
Before the senior tries a new form of exercise, it’s a good idea to talk to their doctor.
Since PD affects people differently, some forms of exercise may be better for your aging relative’s abilities than others. Keep trying different kinds of exercise until they find one they enjoy and can stick with.
Home care can help your aging relative to get more exercise, too. If your loved one prefers walking for exercise, a home care provider can walk with them to ensure they don’t fall. If they like walking on a treadmill or using an exercise bike, a home care provider can drive them to the gym to use the equipment. Home care providers can also watch over the senior while they exercise to make sure they don’t overdo it and stay safe.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Buckeye, AZ, please contact the caring staff at Blessings for Seniors Companion Care at (623) 594-0819