Exercising with Parkinson’s

Exercising with Parkinson’s

Exercise is very important for us to stay healthy, but for someone with Parkinson’s disease, the right exercises are crucial to their daily living. Maintaining balance and mobility play a vital role for one living with Parkinson’s.

At Acacia Creek, a Masterpiece Living Certified Center for Successful Aging, and retirement community, we believe that exercise is an important part of all wellness categories – intellectual, social, physical, and purposeful. So what are the benefits of exercise for someone with Parkinson’s and which exercises should I perform?

According to the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project, people with Parkinson’s disease who engage in 2.5 hours a week of physical activity experienced a slower decline in their mobility all while maintaining their quality of life, when compared to others. The most important benefit exercise has to offer is symptom management. This is because exercise improves one’s walking and sense of balance and coordination, reduces tremors and stiffness, and strengthens flexibility and grip strength. There are also mental benefits for people with Parkinson’s. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter in our brain, is responsible for our reward and pleasure centers, and regulates movement and how we respond to emotions. People with Parkinson’s seem to have a deficiency in dopamine and though exercise does not increase the supply of dopamine, it does allow the brain to utilize it more efficiently.

There are several different types of exercises that someone with Parkinson’s should focus on. These exercises include stretching, aerobics (cardio), and strength training. Here is a list of alternative exercises that focus on all three areas:

  • Tai chi
  • Yoga
  • Cycling
  • Running
  • Pilates
  • Dancing

The Wellness Center offers yoga as well as Sit & Groove and Dance Inferno sessions. These are great classes to boost mood and improve movement.

Yanasa Williams,
Exercise Physiologist

Acacia Creek Retirement Community inspires residents to live an active, meaningful life. Our mission as a senior community is to enrich the independence, well-being, and security of our residents through exceptional services and care based on Masonic values. To learn more about Acacia Creek or our senior housing opportunities, visit us at www.acaciacreek.org.