Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease

There is now good evidence that exercise can slow down the progression of the disease. It can make the neurons of the brain more efficient at using dopamine, (https://www.edinburghparkinsons.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Research-summary-on-exercise-Oct-2015.pdf), meaning that the brain can function more normally at lower levels of dopamine for longer. Exercise, and a healthy lifestyle in general, will also mitigate the symptoms of Parkinson’s in several ways, including improved balance, flexibility, mobility, stamina, gait, tremor and motor co-ordination. The right exercise exercise also tends to improve digestion and related discomfort.

Giselle M. Petzinger, M.D. – 

“Scientists call this ability to change and compensate, exercise-dependent neuroplasticity.  Exercise may have an effect on the brain by driving this compensation.  On a day-to-day basis, people with PD who exercise can move more normally than those who do not.  We believe that exercise may be contributing to neuroplasticity — helping the brain to maintain old connections, form new ones and restore lost ones.  This may actually outweigh the effects of neurodegeneration. ”

To find more on exercise and Parkinson’s goto https://www.4dlife.org/the-programme/the-movement-dimension/

Personal Training and Parkinson’s Disease

We at 4D Fitness believe these improvements can be amplified by progressing from one-size-fits-all exercise programmes (used by necessity in the research studies), to individually designed, person specific, 4 dimensional health and fitness programmes. Outcomes are improved by this approach in every situation we’ve come across in our 20 years of leading edge personal training, and we don’t see why it should be any different for People with Parkinson’s. Of course, there has to be modification for disease progression and functional capability. But that’s the point of working with a personal trainer – modifications are made every time you train to account for how you feel, and how capable you are, on that particular day!

So if you have Parkinson’s, or know somebody with the disease, we urge you to get in touch and start training. We are very happy to co-ordinate training with your Physiotherapist and/or Consultant, or put you in touch with relevant therapists in your area.