In a recent study done on patients with Parkinson’s disease, a huge discovery was found. Patients who partook in exercise three times a week for 45 minutes at a time at 80 to 85% maximum heart rate saw their symptoms slow down. Parkinson’s symptoms include tremor, rigid muscles and problems with movement. While early treatment can delay the worst symptoms, people almost always get worse. About 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year and about a million Americans have Parkinson’s currently.
There is no cure for Parkinson’s
Unfortunately, there’s no medical cure for Parkinson’s. Exercise has always been regarded as a way to help you feel better, but it wasn’t seen as true therapy until recently. It’s not a treatment, but it’s a way to manage the symptoms and help patients feel closer to normal.
In the study, they worked with 128 patients with early stage Parkinson’s. They randomly assigned them to either moderate exercise four days a week, intense exercise four days a week, or no additional exercise. The results showed that for the intense exercise group, their disease wasn’t getting worse. The symptoms remained the same over the 6 months of the study. For the moderate exercise group, their disease worsened slightly. For the non-exercisers, their disease worsened to the point that was noticeable.
Slowing the progression is huge
With only 2 and a half hours a week of high intensity exercise, Parkinson’s patients can slow their disease. It may not cure it, but it’s significant to even slow down the symptoms and to have them feeling better.
About 60 YMCA’s offer a Pedaling for Parkinson’s class to help those with Parkinson’s out by offering spin classes with the proper intensity needed. Check out your local YMCA today!