Participating in regular exercise for people with Parkinson’s disease may help mitigate and relieve some of the symptoms associated with this debilitating condition. Critical to a well-designed Parkinson’s program include exercises that address common day-to-day activities such as walking, sitting down, standing up, turning in bed as well as to improve mobility, posture, and balance.
Warm Up:to prepare the body.
A good choice is a stationary recumbent bicycle, pedal at a slow to moderate pace for 3-5 minutes. Then use a sturdy chair, table, or wall for support and do 10-15 gentle straight and bent knee leg raises to the front, side, and backwards while maintaining an upright posture and repeat on both sides.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Chin Tucks: to decrease forward head posture.
Sit upright with arms down along the body, and lift the back of the head upward bringing the ears in alignment with the shoulders while the chin tucks in towards the neck.
Scapular Retraction: to reduce rounding of shoulders. Sit upright with arms in front, bent at the elbows, palms down, and pull both arms back like rowing without shrugging so that the shoulder blades in the upper back are drawn together.
Standing Trunk Rotations: to improve balance with three progressions.
First stand with feet shoulder width apart, arms up and out at the sides like a ‘T’ with the thumbs up, and slowly rotate/turn to one side without lowering arms or leaning forward and repeat on the other side. Second, stand with feet shoulder width apart, staggered so that one leg is ahead of the other by 1-3 feet, and repeat the rotations on both sides. Third, is to perform the first or second progression while keeping eye contact with one of the thumbs throughout the rotations.
Thoracic Extension: to decrease rounding of the upper back. Sit upright with arms bent at the elbows, clasp both hands lightly behind the head while keeping the arms up and out, and without shrugging the shoulders draw both arms backwards and away from the chest.
Leg Stretches: to relieve tension and increase flexibility. Sit with both legs extended in front and reach forward with both arms toward the feet. Whenever possible, walk with an exaggerated heel to toe motion. A simple dynamic stretch is walking with toes up.
The key is to be consistent and to try a variety of exercise classes and programs like Tai Chi, Yoga, swimming, pool exercises, aqua aerobics, and add low intensity strength training. Remember to modify a workout depending on how you feel and what time of day works best for you. Go at your own pace, do not over exert, and celebrate your accomplishments.