Exercise to Fight Parkinson’s Disease

There’s a lot we don’t know about Parkinson’s Disease. The causes of Parkinson’s Disease are still unknown. Currently, scientists believe that while genetic susceptibility accounts for a small percentage of sufferers, environmental factors like trauma, toxins and illness are also a major factor in causing the disease. The biggest risk factor for being diagnosed with the disease is age, with the majority of sufferers being diagnosed after age 60. However, patients as young as 18 years old have also been diagnosed.

Since the exact causes of Parkinson’s Disease are not known, there is no cure. However, treatment for Parkinson’s can greatly improve sufferers’ quality of life and delay symptoms of the disease.

Guess what is one of the best current treatments for Parkinson’s Disease?

Exercise.

Recently, I had the honor of interviewing Carol Walton, the CEO of The Parkinson Alliance. We spoke at length about the effects of Parkinson’s, especially the mental and emotional effects of the symptoms of the disease. Carol also talked to me about just how important exercise can be as a way of delaying Parkinson’s Disease and improving patients’ lives.

Exercise to Fight Parkinson's Disease

You’re probably aware of some of the effects of Parkinson’s, since it is an increasingly prevalent disease. One of the most well-known people to suffer from Parkinson’s Disease is Michael J. Fox, who has done an enormous amount for raising research funding and awareness for the disease. Physical effects include tremors, slowness of movement, impaired balance and coordination, and rigidity in the limbs.

One of the most challenging symptoms for Parkinson’s Disease sufferers, however, is one you can’t see: Depression and Anxiety. If you or a loved one has suffered from depression or anxiety, you know they are HORRIBLE conditions. They affect not only the sufferer, but those around them as well. It’s well documented that exercise can help treat depression, especially in mild to moderate cases. That holds true for people with Parkinson’s Disease, as well.

Exercise to Fight Parkinson's Disease

Join The Parkinson Alliance for their annual Unity Walk on April 26, held in Central Park, NYC. As well as benefitting from exercise, people with the disease and their loved ones will be able to speak with and visit with many vendors, sponsors, and information booths at the event – from neurologists and movement disorder specialists, to nutritionists and physical therapists. As Carol explained to me, education and community spirit are just as important as the money raised for the foundation through this event. She noted that while many people with Parkinson’s Disease dislike crowds and tend to freeze when in a crowded, public setting, she has never seen this happen at a Unity Walk. The spirit of support and community is too strong.

100% of the donations raised for the Unity Walk go to research.

Exercise to Fight Parkinson's Disease

You can sign up for the walk here (or make a donation if you’re unable to attend).

Do you know someone with Parkinson’s Disease?

Have you used exercise as a treatment for a medical condition?

Is there anything exercise can’t do??

Comments

  1. I totally agree with you Carly that exercise seems like it can cure all illnesses! I am not surprised that it is so important for those suffering from Parkinsons!
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  2. My grandmother had a mild form of Parkinson’s.
    I love that exercise is being shown to help Parkinson’s and other diseases!
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    • Carly Pizzani says:

      I wish it was more well-known how many conditions and diseases can be positively impacted by exercise! I’m sorry to hear your grandmother suffered from Parkinson’s. It really sounds like a terrible illness.

  3. My uncle has Parkinson’s and it is very sad. I remember talking to a friend who is a nutritionist and she said that getting her diabetes patients on an exercise program greatly reduced their needs for insulin. Exercise is amazing. Exercise is medicine. So is food!
    Tamara recently posted…I Had No Idea How Much I’d Need Her.My Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your uncle. It is amazing what can be helped with the right nutrition and exercise. It would be great if eating and exercise plans were prescribed at the same time as other treatments by medical professionals!

  4. I agree that exercise and nutrition are very important and can mitigate some illnesses, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer.
    Thanks