Parkinson's Disease and Exercise

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Topic Overview

Exercise is an important part of home treatment for people with Parkinson's disease. It has benefits in both early and advanced stages of the disease. Regular exercise can help you:

  • Keep and improve muscle strength and endurance.
  • Control your weight and improve your cardiovascular fitness.
  • Improve your balance, coordination, flexibility, and range of motion.
  • Reduce the likelihood of becoming constipated.
  • Reduce your fear of falling and improve your quality of life.

Exercise can promote a sense of well-being and improve your mood. For those who have mild Parkinson's symptoms, exercise can also reduce the chance of falling.

A physical therapist can help you learn exercises and stretches to do at home to improve posture, strength, flexibility, and endurance.

A physical or occupational therapist can also help you to:

  • Plan more efficient movements for daily living activities (such as bathing and dressing) so that these activities are easier and less tiring.
  • Improve balance and walking.
  • Use walking aids (such as canes or walkers) correctly.

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Canning C, et al. (2015). Exercise for falls prevention in Parkinson disease. Neurology, 84(3): 304–312. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001155. Accessed January 28, 2015.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerG. Frederick Wooten, MD - Neurology

Current as ofMarch 27, 2015