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Exercise has helped me so much


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#1 Jay-Jay

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 02:21 AM

Hi -

I haven't posted too much for a while - I'm not sure if my life is getting busier, or if I'm just getting slower at it! :) I'm thankful for this site and these forums - so glad they're here. I see some familiar names, and some new ones. There's one name I miss very much...I'm glad his sweet wife posts every once in a while.

This past month or so has been difficult. "Life" is extremely busy - we have 5 kids, all still at home (and 3 dogs who add much to the noise and chaos), and I love every minute of it - except when PD gets me down, and lately it's been tough. Dystonia and dyskinesia have been problems, dyskinesia being worse lately. My MDS added Amantadine to my meds to counteract the dyskinesia. And it worked - it's really taken the edge off of them. But I've had more depression, more anxiety, and more fatigue since then as well. I don't know if it's because of the new med - I'll have to ask my doc about it. But until yesterday, I hadn't exercised in at least a month. It's so easy to let it slide...especially when you're feeling crappy. Sometimes when I get up in the morning, my feet shuffle as if my ankles were shackled in irons, my right leg and foot are so tight w/ dystonia it's painful to move, my lower back, shoulders, and hips are still aching from the night's "sleep", and I'm still trying to clear my head from the very weird dreams I just had...yeah, I'm going to get on the treadmill in that condition. (insert sarcasm)

Well, yesterday, I did it anyway. I took my first dose of meds, and even though they hadn't kicked in yet, I got started. (Even "waiting till the meds kick in" will give me enough of a window of opportunity to get distracted from exercising.) I started out w/ the Wii - and did really bad, but I didn't care. I was moving, and it felt good. I moved to the treadmill, and my right leg didn't want to cooperate, but I kept going...if I concentrate on it, I can relax the muscles a little...kept doing that and waiting for the meds to start working. Eventually, everything loosened up, and I walked over a mile, at times at a pretty good pace...and I felt so good, so much better - all day long!

Here's what I think about exercise and PD - and this is purely my gut feelings, not trying in any way to be knowledgeable about the subject. You could call this "Confessions of a P.E. (Phys. Ed. class) flunky" - seriously, I never stepped foot on a treadmill until after PD.

Exercise "jumpstarts" the day - gets my body and muscles moving, forcing them to move farther and faster than they will on their own. It's intentionally making my body move the way that it can (it is physically able to do), but won't - unless I intentionally make it happen. Once it's jumpstarted, then it tends to go along, in gear - the meds kind of like the gas that keeps a car running. Not perfectly...but so much better than "limping" through the day.

Exercise strengthens the muscles that would atrophy from underuse otherwise. PD makes our movements smaller, constricting us like a cocoon...but there's nothing wrong with the muscles that would keep them from being strengthened. If we intentionally exercise those muscles, and "force ourselves" to make big movements, we can stay stronger longer.

Exercise reminds my body of the right way to move. When I'm walking on the treadmill, my right leg does not drag - I have to intentionally keep it moving, and take longer strides, if I want to stay upright! While I'm walking, I intentionally swing my arms back and forth (otherwise, they'd just hang there) and I intentionally pull my shoulders back, and try to squeeze those shoulder muscles (I'm sure there's a more correct term for them) together - to keep my posture up (otherwise, I would slump). And once I've exercised, it's much easier to keep these things going throughout the day - to intentionally make my body move the way it should.

Exercise gets my heartrate up and gives me a cardio workout. Has to be good for you. Common sense.

Exercise improves my mood. It shakes away the depression, it burns through the anxiety. It chases away that awful, awful feeling, and the world goes from washed-out gray to bold and bright living color. And I am a much nicer person to be around.

Exercise improves my thinking. It lifts the fog and clears my head. I can think better, and I can interact w/ my family better.

Exercise gives me more energy and kicks apathy in its big ole butt. I hate apathy.

I know exercise does great things for the body physically - all the stuff about muscle tone, and stretching tendons and ligaments, and oxygen in the blood, and burning calories, and a thousand other things I don't know about. But I wonder..what does it do to our brains? We know exercise causes a release of chemicals that improve our mood. But what else does it do? Does it re-wire a path that has malfunctioned? Does all of this intentional thinking create new paths to replace what's broken? Deep in our brains where the dopamine "factories" have been shut down by PD, and everything is very dark - does exercise set off a spark of light, a glimmer of hope, because we are not giving in to the darkness...we are fighting back, and it's working.

I'm totally convinced that exercise is a powerful weapon against PD. I know there are studies being done, and they're getting positive results w/ exercise - but I think that's just the tip of the iceberg. The medications, the treatments like botox shots for dystonia, DBS surgery - these are all very effective tools to keep PD at bay. But, in a way, I think exercise trumps them all. For one thing, no side effects. With meds, you're putting large amounts of chemicals in your body on a daily basis, with who knows what long term effects on vital organs, etc... (I sometimes wonder why I'm still taking Azilect...is it doing anything for me? It's so new - does anyone know what it will do to me if I continue it for the next 10-20 years, if I'm around for the next 10-20 years?) With DBS, you're obviously exposing yourself (and your brain) to the risks of surgery and further complications. But with exercise, those major side effects and risks are non-existent. You're doing something that even if it had absolutely no effect on PD whatsoever, would still be worthwhile, because it's just plain good for you.

Here's a story that inspired me - I wanted to pass it on.

http://www.yourhoust...6f1e0e3952.html

My favorite quote of the article is "running water never freezes". If we keep moving, keep exercising, keep intentionally doing what we can, instead of settling for what we will...we won't wind down like a worn-out clock - at least not nearly as fast. :)

I really think they should do a PD version of "The Biggest Loser". They'd have to change the name, but it's all about changing lives...improving lives through exercise and proper nutrition. Instead of ending each show w/ how many pounds they've lost, they could make the competition all about how many pills you've been able to cut out of your regimen!

Just a thought.

Janet

#2 Lin

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 06:33 AM

Hi Janet,

Loved the Running Water YouTube video link. Completely agree about the importance of exercising at whatever your level of ability.


1: Neuroscience. 2005;133(3):853-61.

Exercise primes a molecular memory for brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein
induction in the rat hippocampus.

Berchtold NC, Chinn G, Chou M, Kesslak JP, Cotman CW.

Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia, 1226 Gillespie Neuroscience Facility,
University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-4540, USA. nberchto@uci.edu

Exercise is an important facet of behavior that enhances brain health and
function. Increased expression of the plasticity molecule brain-derived
neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as a response to exercise may be a central factor in
exercise-derived benefits to brain function. In rodents, daily wheel-running
exercise increases BDNF gene and protein levels in the hippocampus. However, in
humans, exercise patterns are generally less rigorous, and rarely follow a daily
consistency. The benefit to the brain of intermittent exercise is unknown, and
the duration that exercise benefits endure after exercise has ended is
unexplored. In this study, BDNF protein expression was used as an index of the
hippocampal response to exercise. Both daily exercise and alternating days of
exercise increased BDNF protein, and levels progressively increased with longer
running duration, even after 3 months of daily exercise. Exercise on alternating
days was as effective as daily exercise, even though exercise took place only on
half as many days as in the daily regimen. In addition, BDNF protein remained
elevated for several days after exercise ceased. Further, after prior exercise
experience, a brief second exercise re-exposure insufficient to cause a BDNF
change in naive animals, rapidly reinduced BDNF protein to levels normally
requiring several weeks of exercise for induction. The protein reinduction
occurred with an intervening "rest" period as long as 2 weeks. The rapid
reinduction of BDNF by an exercise stimulation protocol that is normally
subthreshold in naive animals suggests that exercise primes a molecular memory
for BDNF induction. These findings are clinically important because they provide
guidelines for optimizing the design of exercise and rehabilitation programs, in
order to promote hippocampal function.

#3 jb49

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 07:04 AM

Hey Janet and Lin

Your post Janet might well be one of the most important one to be put up in a long time. Exercise and physical activity of any type is such an important thing for us P's. I recently joined a yoga group. He started by saying it works on strength (check, I said), flexibility (oh yes! I said), balance (lurch, good!) and cleansing of your mind (whoa, could I use some housecleaning up there I thought). Push this aspect Janet, inspire us all to more activity and you will have done your part to make P's happier and healthier.

Thanks Ladies,

JB

PS, I miss him too and like it when his wife posts.

Edited by jb49, 12 October 2011 - 07:05 AM.

Don't be hard on yourself, try your best and be strong!

#4 Delta

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 02:24 PM

Has anyone tried the YMCA Parkinson exercise classes? They have a special program for PWP. A friend told me they're great. The class times haven't worked out for me yet.

JB, My MDS has been after me for 6 months to start taking yoga or tai chi. Way to get out there. I've been lazy. I need to step up and find something by the end of October.

I'm a firm believer in exercise for health. We all need to keep moving!

#5 phaedrus

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 03:08 PM

Hi everyone,

I've been reading the NPF forums for a few months now, since getting diagnosed as YOPD. This is the first subject I've felt the need to contribute to!

I'm firmly convinced exercise is one of the most important things we can do as PWP. All the things that Jay-Jay says are true - it improves your mood, strengths muscles, helps maintain balance etc.

But from the huge amount of reading I've been doing since being diagnosed, I think the icing on the cake is Lin's post about increasing BDNF in your brain. Neurotrophic Factors are becoming one of the most promising new treatments for PD, as they actively protect and encourage re-growth of brain cells. There are trials where GDNF (a slightly different neurotrophic factor) is injected into the brain, and the controversial Amgen trials, and the current, highly promising Cogane trials, all show the potential of neurotrophic factors in treating PD.

The study in Lin's post shows that exercise increases BDNF, and the more exercise, the more the levels increased.
So exercise, amongst all the obvious health advantages, might just be the best thing we can do for our brain cells!

I'm off for a swim :-)

#6 Lin

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 08:27 PM

Hi Phaedrus, Welcome to the forum! Glad you posted, would love to hear about any research you've found interesting or encouraging.

Janet, JB, Delta, Phaedrus...Glad to have fellow advocates of exercise speaking up. Don't believe the importance of exercise can be overstated. Just moving even a little bit everyday makes huge difference. Have an elderly neighbor who started by walking(shuffling) around his house. Then he made it to the end of driveway, very stooped and slow. Then he made it across street. Now he goes up and down the block several times, almost completely upright and gait is less shuffling with bigger steps. Point is he started at his level of ability and built up. He looks so much happier and confident now.

The more you do, the more you are able to do, and then the more you want to do. Plus research shows that exercise is a way we can actually fight back against PD and regain sense of control over our lives. Makes me feel better to have a way to shake my fist everyday at this Parky flu.

Best wishes, Lin

#7 Lin

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 08:38 PM

This was part of presentation on research results regarding effects of various forms of exercise for PD patients this year by Dr. Lisa Shulman, neurologist at University of Maryland Movement Disorder Center.


Dr Lisa Shulman

Definition of self-efficacy
Your confidence in your ability to manage your condition.

Overall, self-efficacy for self-management of disease was the greatest determinant of disability and quality of life in Parkinson's disease.

#8 jb49

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 10:07 PM

Welcome Phaedrus,

It is always nice to see a new name come up and make a contribution to the postings. Your name and post makes me think that you are a thinker. I'll look forward to more of it here. Thanks for the input today and I hope you stay on as a regular.

jb
Don't be hard on yourself, try your best and be strong!

#9 shakti

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 12:30 AM

Hi -

I haven't posted too much for a while - I'm not sure if my life is getting busier, or if I'm just getting slower at it! :) I'm thankful for this site and these forums - so glad they're here. I see some familiar names, and some new ones. There's one name I miss very much...I'm glad his sweet wife posts every once in a while.

This past month or so has been difficult. "Life" is extremely busy - we have 5 kids, all still at home (and 3 dogs who add much to the noise and chaos), and I love every minute of it - except when PD gets me down, and lately it's been tough. Dystonia and dyskinesia have been problems, dyskinesia being worse lately. My MDS added Amantadine to my meds to counteract the dyskinesia. And it worked - it's really taken the edge off of them. But I've had more depression, more anxiety, and more fatigue since then as well. I don't know if it's because of the new med - I'll have to ask my doc about it. But until yesterday, I hadn't exercised in at least a month. It's so easy to let it slide...especially when you're feeling crappy. Sometimes when I get up in the morning, my feet shuffle as if my ankles were shackled in irons, my right leg and foot are so tight w/ dystonia it's painful to move, my lower back, shoulders, and hips are still aching from the night's "sleep", and I'm still trying to clear my head from the very weird dreams I just had...yeah, I'm going to get on the treadmill in that condition. (insert sarcasm)

Well, yesterday, I did it anyway. I took my first dose of meds, and even though they hadn't kicked in yet, I got started. (Even "waiting till the meds kick in" will give me enough of a window of opportunity to get distracted from exercising.) I started out w/ the Wii - and did really bad, but I didn't care. I was moving, and it felt good. I moved to the treadmill, and my right leg didn't want to cooperate, but I kept going...if I concentrate on it, I can relax the muscles a little...kept doing that and waiting for the meds to start working. Eventually, everything loosened up, and I walked over a mile, at times at a pretty good pace...and I felt so good, so much better - all day long!

Here's what I think about exercise and PD - and this is purely my gut feelings, not trying in any way to be knowledgeable about the subject. You could call this "Confessions of a P.E. (Phys. Ed. class) flunky" - seriously, I never stepped foot on a treadmill until after PD.

Exercise "jumpstarts" the day - gets my body and muscles moving, forcing them to move farther and faster than they will on their own. It's intentionally making my body move the way that it can (it is physically able to do), but won't - unless I intentionally make it happen. Once it's jumpstarted, then it tends to go along, in gear - the meds kind of like the gas that keeps a car running. Not perfectly...but so much better than "limping" through the day.

Exercise strengthens the muscles that would atrophy from underuse otherwise. PD makes our movements smaller, constricting us like a cocoon...but there's nothing wrong with the muscles that would keep them from being strengthened. If we intentionally exercise those muscles, and "force ourselves" to make big movements, we can stay stronger longer.

Exercise reminds my body of the right way to move. When I'm walking on the treadmill, my right leg does not drag - I have to intentionally keep it moving, and take longer strides, if I want to stay upright! While I'm walking, I intentionally swing my arms back and forth (otherwise, they'd just hang there) and I intentionally pull my shoulders back, and try to squeeze those shoulder muscles (I'm sure there's a more correct term for them) together - to keep my posture up (otherwise, I would slump). And once I've exercised, it's much easier to keep these things going throughout the day - to intentionally make my body move the way it should.

Exercise gets my heartrate up and gives me a cardio workout. Has to be good for you. Common sense.

Exercise improves my mood. It shakes away the depression, it burns through the anxiety. It chases away that awful, awful feeling, and the world goes from washed-out gray to bold and bright living color. And I am a much nicer person to be around.

Exercise improves my thinking. It lifts the fog and clears my head. I can think better, and I can interact w/ my family better.

Exercise gives me more energy and kicks apathy in its big ole butt. I hate apathy.

I know exercise does great things for the body physically - all the stuff about muscle tone, and stretching tendons and ligaments, and oxygen in the blood, and burning calories, and a thousand other things I don't know about. But I wonder..what does it do to our brains? We know exercise causes a release of chemicals that improve our mood. But what else does it do? Does it re-wire a path that has malfunctioned? Does all of this intentional thinking create new paths to replace what's broken? Deep in our brains where the dopamine "factories" have been shut down by PD, and everything is very dark - does exercise set off a spark of light, a glimmer of hope, because we are not giving in to the darkness...we are fighting back, and it's working.

I'm totally convinced that exercise is a powerful weapon against PD. I know there are studies being done, and they're getting positive results w/ exercise - but I think that's just the tip of the iceberg. The medications, the treatments like botox shots for dystonia, DBS surgery - these are all very effective tools to keep PD at bay. But, in a way, I think exercise trumps them all. For one thing, no side effects. With meds, you're putting large amounts of chemicals in your body on a daily basis, with who knows what long term effects on vital organs, etc... (I sometimes wonder why I'm still taking Azilect...is it doing anything for me? It's so new - does anyone know what it will do to me if I continue it for the next 10-20 years, if I'm around for the next 10-20 years?) With DBS, you're obviously exposing yourself (and your brain) to the risks of surgery and further complications. But with exercise, those major side effects and risks are non-existent. You're doing something that even if it had absolutely no effect on PD whatsoever, would still be worthwhile, because it's just plain good for you.

Here's a story that inspired me - I wanted to pass it on.

http://www.yourhoust...6f1e0e3952.html

My favorite quote of the article is "running water never freezes". If we keep moving, keep exercising, keep intentionally doing what we can, instead of settling for what we will...we won't wind down like a worn-out clock - at least not nearly as fast. :)

I really think they should do a PD version of "The Biggest Loser". They'd have to change the name, but it's all about changing lives...improving lives through exercise and proper nutrition. Instead of ending each show w/ how many pounds they've lost, they could make the competition all about how many pills you've been able to cut out of your regimen!

Just a thought.

Janet


thank you , janet. i needed all that jump start with exercise. so true. i found that i need to be more clear about what exercises at what time. my knee was hurting and i found that i had needed to rest it. instead i did my qigong exercise which entails moving in a way that can be stressful on a knee that is strained. my dance therapist said, if its muscles that hurt , you could work with it and exercise, but bones, ligaments, need to rest to heal. i think that sometimes i am an island alone and don't need advice. i was all wrong about my knee. it wasn't edema, but an aggravation on an old injury. i found this out by going to my family doctor. so , after taking some anti-inflamatory medicine, it is a lot better and i am careful about what i do. i can still exercise the rest of me . you know you have to be really smart , if you have parkinson's . there are so many choices every day about what i should or should not do. i need to socialize, but if i socialize too much and am around really negative situations, people angry with each other and the world, one up man ship, just meanness hidden by polite rap, i find myself become sad, even if it has nothing to do with me, and it usually doesn't . just being around it brings me down. i need time alone, to paint, to meditate, to come to the forum, to just breathe in the fall colors....and make my husband a nice dinner.......speak to the kids......laugh with my grandson.

#10 Luthersfaith

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 06:03 AM



Hi there guys and gals! The more vigorous my exercise, the better I feel. Hope and pray you'al experience the same.
"I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world." - Jesus (John 16:33)

#11 Bill S

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 09:24 PM

Janet:

I AM A EXERCISE NUT!!!!!!!!!

I suffered a stroke on my right side of my brain @7 yrs old - affected my left side of body some docters said I would never walk again...Not very physically active in grade school years
Before I stopped working in Aug 2009 (cognative skills, executive functions & analytical skills went down significantly) I was a Treasury Mgr for a $3 billion auto parts manufacturer with 37 plants in Canada, USA, Europe & Mexico

As of May 2008 I have run (since the age of 30) 9 marathons - best 3 hrs 32 min, at least 50 1/2 marathons - best 1 hr 28 min & I dont know how many 10 & 5 k's. My last 1/2 matathon was May 2008 2 hrs 24 min (5 month before being diagnosed with PD)

In Oct 2008 I was diagnosed with early onset PD I was 44. Looking back I probally could of recalled symptoms for at least 2 years. Tremors are affecting right side of body. Yes running is A LOT SLOWER but I countinue to plod along...

Don't let the medications scare you. I noticed after put on meds my running gradually got a little better. There have been modifications to my meds over the past 3 years. Honestly the fustrating part is when you find something that works now but does not work so well a year or so later. I believe my running has helped me cope with these changes.

This year I am shy of running 2,000k, I do yoga light weights & since I no longer drive I walk almost everywhere. Severe mood swings (probally PD related) and high anxiety)are a daily struggle. Without my exercise I would be a real mess.

My wife 5 & 8 year old girls keep me very busy. I donate my time with a local Parkinsons branch (great to give something back), Treasurer for youngest daycare, volunteer with girls school (my 8 year old recently made it to City finals in cross country running)

Believe it or not I am running my first 1/2 marathon in 2 days since my diagnosis in Oct 2008. Hoping for a 2 hr 5 to 15 min time


Keep up the exercise I believe it is so important to a balanced life style, a stress release, feeling good about yourself & keeping PD related symptoms at bay

Regards.



Bill
Toronto, Canada

#12 Jenette

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 09:31 PM

Bill - that sounds great! I'm glad you are able to still do the exercise and running that you love to do.

I know I need to exercise, but the fatigue is overwhelming. I am still working full time and til I get home, I'm exhausted. I fall asleep sitting in the chair! I know - it's a vicious cycle. Exercise will help with the fatigue, but the fatigue keeps me from exercising. :cry:

#13 woodbee

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 10:54 PM

Bill - that sounds great! I'm glad you are able to still do the exercise and running that you love to do.

I know I need to exercise, but the fatigue is overwhelming. I am still working full time and til I get home, I'm exhausted. I fall asleep sitting in the chair! I know - it's a vicious cycle. Exercise will help with the fatigue, but the fatigue keeps me from exercising. :cry:






Jenette is your fatigue from PD or PD medications or can you tell?

#14 Jenette

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 07:59 AM

Jenette is your fatigue from PD or PD medications or can you tell?



the only PD med I'm on is sinemet

#15 phaedrus

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 04:59 PM

Hi again,

thanks everyone for the warm welcome!

Yes, I think sometimes, in YOPD where we're still otherwise active and able to exercise, the biggest problem may be the fatigue. With medication, I still feel like I can do everything I did before the symptoms started, except it takes longer to recover than before. But of course, exercise itself helps with this - if I haven't jogged for a few weeks, I know the next jog will make me tired and my legs ache for a couple of days. But if I jog regularly, each subsequent jog doesn't take so much out of me. I know what I'm describing is what happens to everyone who exercises (!), but with PD the difference between exercising and not, seems much more exaggerated. My only fear now is getting injured and being immobile for a period of time - getting going again afterwards would be such hard work!

I found this document, which seems to explain really clearly how exercise may be beneficial to PD. It's really encouraging:

http://www.pdf-archi...ffect-in-pd.pdf

#16 xaxa

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 08:49 PM

Interesting article.... Would love to see a study on young onset patients as well. No one is going to argue, I think, whether exercise is good for you, but I wish there were some sort of program to follow so I felt like i was doing a balanced work out optimal for slowing progression.... Like 2 days a week lift free weights, 2 days a week cycle or jog, one day a week do Pilates, etc. Hey i think i just made a schedule. LOL!

Mary


I found this document, which seems to explain really clearly how exercise may be beneficial to PD. It's really encouraging:

http://www.pdf-archi...ffect-in-pd.pdf
[/quote]

#17 Delta

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 06:03 AM

Yes, xaxa, I think you have your exercise program. Now just get enough excercises to cover 20-30 minutes per day and your done. My family subscribes to both Womens Health and Mens Health and they have a list of exercises each month with instructions on how to do them. If you have Fit TV on your cable plan, I started with Gilead Bodies in Motion, which is 30 minutes and fairly low key. Plenty of Yoga classes on Fit Tv also.

Next, to the article. I have always worked out except for 3-4 yeaers when my kids were little and I was working full time. I was a 3 sport athlete in High School and was awarded 10 varsity letters. So I would say excercise for me did not prevent PD. But as the article states as an athlete I was acutely aware of when things started to go bad. My first symptom was when my right foot "forgot" how to roll correctly when walking.

I learned how to play tennis 3 years after my symptoms started. Now, when I play tennis I do not feel the PD when I move. Between shots, I shuffle to the ball, but while I'm in the point I feel relatively normal. I do shake like a leaf while waiting to return serves, but I've been able to tone that done by changing my mirapex dosing schedule. I'm afraid of the day when I can no longer play. There are several 70+ year olds playing in my league and I want someday to be one of them. Maybe not a realistic goal, but I'm going to keep it on the list for now.

#18 lethe

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 09:15 AM

Walking is as critical to your health as sleep
November 26, 2011

Some of you may have heard us say once (or 20 times) that it’s as vital to walk every day as it is to sleep every night. You wouldn’t skip your ZZZs; don’t skip your strides. Yep, walking is that critical to your health and well-being.

We You Docs had a jones for walking long before we wrote our first “YOU” book six years ago . But we’ve now got another new reason to walk forever and to get your mom, uncle, pop-pop and great-aunt Tillie to go with you. Turns out that the older you are, the more important it is to walk. Because the more you walk, the happier you are. And the happier you are, the more you walk, which means the healthier you are.

What specifically does walking do for older family members? The same things it does for you: Within three months of hitting your stride, all of you will have boosted blood flow to your brains by 15 per cent (hello, smarty pants) plus lowered your blood pressure and heart rates about 5 per cent (goodbye, heart disease). If you step lively and cover about six miles a week — easy to do if you walk 30 minutes a day — you’ll also help keep your brain from shrinking and even increase your memory processing area. That ups the chances that you’ll hold onto your memories.

For a last bit of motivation, buy everyone a pedometer. When you track your steps, they’ll mysteriously increase.

YouDocs Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen

#19 jb49

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 01:13 PM

Hi Lethe,

That is a good and important post. We gotta keep moving.

Gotta run (i wish i could)
Don't be hard on yourself, try your best and be strong!

#20 jer

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 05:11 PM

hello
I have found that exercise has been the most important thing for me. I work out every day for the past six weeks and have cut my meds more than half and started sleeping 3X longer. The first thing doc's should tell you after your diagnosis is to get a gym membership and start right away. I now feel better than I have in over a year and can't wait for feeling even better. I plan on doing as many mud races as I can afford and hopefully getting to the top of MT. Adams in the summer. The highlight though will be raising money for the local Parkinson's Resource Center. They are awesome and put out a lot of info and help people so much. I would like to hear back on some exercises that you are all doing and hope to share some with you as well. I think the balance ball is the best there is for Parkys. Its saved me and my back. jer




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