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Exercise Physiology for Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) leads to physical issues such as stiffness, balance difficulties, tremors, freezing and gross motor and mobility difficulties. Parkinson’s also affects brain function and has an effect on metal health. As an evidence based approach, Exercise Physiology plays a vital role in managing symptoms and supporting optimal function for those living with Parkinson’s disease. Regular Exercise plays an important role in slowing the progression of PD. The team at Exercise Matters design tailored exercise programs for each individual with Parkinson Disease to best facilitate your needs and goals. Exercise physiology for PD will always be tailored to the individual as no two individuals present the same. This makes it important for people with PD to have exercise prescribed by Exercise Physiology experts like Exercise Matters who are experienced in supporting people with neurological conditions. PD can lead to a wide range of symptoms including: muscle stiffness (rigidity) which can lead to pain and movement limitation; a tremor which often starts in one arm; slowed movements and ‘freezing’ (being unable to start moving); balance problems and falls; stooped posture; fatigue; sleep disturbance; anxiety or depression. Unfortunately, PD also worsens over time. The best exercise for PD will depend on your symptoms, goals, and daily presentation.                   

The best-tailored exercises will have components of:

  • Cardiovascular training to reduce risk of metabolic conditions, to improve energy levels to combat fatigue, sleep quality and mental health well-being by boosting endorphins and serotonin.

  • Strength training to improve functional ability for activities of daily living and leisure activities as well as to improve freezing and coordination. Maximizing muscular strength uses resistance based training to achieve these goals.

  • Posture training to prevent stooped positions strengthening the posterior line that causes pain levels in the neck and back. Using flexibility and mobility specific exercises to reduce tight musculature.

  • Balance and gait training to reduce risk of falls.

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