Whether it is boxing, dancing, yoga, tai chi, walking, or weight training, each activity has its advantages and disadvantages. Exercise can make a real difference in the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s disease. But with such a wide variety of exercises, how do you know which is best for you and your unique situation?
While the simplest answer is “The one you’re going to want to do!”, you may not want to go through a lengthy cycle of trial and error just to find that one activity you enjoy.
That may be when seeing a kinesiologist can help you.
Why see a kinesiologist
A kinesiologist specialized in Parkinson’s can enhance your quality of life with physical activity adapted to your unique needs and goals.
They tailor exercises to you
Kinesiologists can develop a one-on-one personal training program with exercises tailored to your needs, advice that will motivate you, personal support, and rigorous follow-up.
Watch an excerpt of an individual training session at home:
They can host virtual training sessions
If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that participating in virtual events can be just as effective as being there in person. Training sessions with kinesiologists are no different. Some kinesiologists can host a training session through videoconference, so you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home.
Virtual training sessions still allow group participation for those who are more motivated to exercise as a social activity. And, of course, here in Canada, it’s important to support both Anglophone and Francophone groups.
Where to find a kinesiologist specialized in Parkinson’s
Exercise is a subject of ongoing research as a treatment for Parkinson’s, so a kinesiologist who specializes in Parkinson’s and who has ties to scientific experts may be important to you.
But is that too much to ask?
Maybe not. Some places such as NeuroMotrix have a team of kinesiologists and scientific experts specialized in Parkinson’s. They would know about the latest developments of exercise as a treatment for Parkinson’s. They also offer a free one-week trial of their services.
How often should I exercise?
Science has clearly shown that the benefits of exercise can be felt after just a few weeks of practice, as long as the frequency, duration and intensity are sufficient, regardless of the starting health condition. And to maintain the gains, the practice simply needs to be maintained over the long term – sometimes over a period of several months – and with the right support.
Even in an advanced stage of Parkinson’s, the simple act of adding 30 minutes of physical activity per week can help reduce loss of mobility and decline in quality of life. People with Parkinson’s disease are recommended to get 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, which corresponds with the World Health Organization guidelines for adults.
Regardless of the type of physical activity performed, you can expect positive effects. What matters most is attendance, the level of effort, and a sense of security and self-efficacy. Physical activity is a great treatment that can help all people living with Parkinson’s disease.