Parkinson’s disease ranks among the most common late-life neurodegenerative diseases, and also affects younger people, as well (About 10%-20% of those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease are under age 50, and about half of those are diagnosed before age 40), and the search for a way to combat it is ongoing.
The team at Connecticut Advocates for Parkinson’s – (CAP) – serving all of Connecticut – are committed to supporting research to cure and manage this disease and are excited to share the benefits exercise provides. If you or a loved one is looking for a solution, learn how exercise can fight Parkinson’s, below.
How Exercise Fights Parkinson’s Disease
1. Delays Progression
As Parkinson’s disease progresses, it becomes more debilitating. Patients suffer extensive mobility losses that affect their entire body, which is why it’s important to slow the disease progression. Exercise has shown to do this by better managing dopamine use in the brain. Parkinson’s disease progresses due to the loss of dopamine-producing cells. During intense exercise, the body uses dopamine more efficiently to prevent further cell loss.
2. Reduces Side Effects
Tremor and muscle rigidity are the harshest side effects of Parkinson’s disease. Exercise aims to combat these by utilizing the benefits of aerobic and learning-focused activities. During aerobic exercise, oxygen is better delivered throughout the body, improving overall nervous system function. At the same time, when learning factors such as changing direction, tempo, or moving in patterned steps are used, muscles typically affected by Parkinson’s receive healthy attention, which better manages side effects.
3. Improves Mental Health
Depression is common among people with this disease. To truly fight Parkinson’s, patients need to maintain a positive outlook. Exercise offers extensive mental health benefits. It improves mood and brain function, ultimately helping people stay optimistic about disease management.
If you’re interested in learning more about ways to fight Parkinson’s, turn to the team at Connecticut Advocates for Parkinson’s. They offer a variety of valuable outreach, education and support options. Visit their website and Facebook to learn more and call (860) 266-6040 to speak with a volunteer.