Current research is showing that by using vigorous exercise you can potentially slow the progression of your Parkinson’s disease. Medical intervention at present can only help with alleviating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
It has long been known that exercises is important for health, it lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, helps mood and sleep and is now even shown to improve memory.
However often when we get diagnosed with a Neurological condition we tend to neglect our other systems and often, we start to become inactive and inactivity can be just as damaging as your diagnosed neurological condition. It is important that you are prioritising exercises as it is just as important as taking your medication for your health now and in the future. Anyone can exercise anywhere anyhow.
So how can exercise help with Parkinson’s
Nordic walking is fitness activity that incorporates the whole body, by using your arms and trunk as well as your legs. Turning your everyday walking in to a fun whole body fitness activity. Nordic walking is a beneficial activity for a broad range of people, and great rehabilitation tool for those with a Neurological conditions.
Nordic walking is an intensification of normal walking using specially designed lightweight poles. To gain the maximum potential benefit of Nordic walking it is best to get taught the correct technique by a qualified Nordic walking instructor using the correct equipment.
Benefits of Nordic walking
- Increased Calorie expenditure - Burn more calories quicker, Nordic walking burns 400 calories/hour compared to 280 calories/hour for normal walking.
- Decreased stress on joints - the use of poles can reduce tension and pain in shoulder and neck region especially when associated with overuse. They also help Reduce the load on knees and other joints.
- Improved posture - Use of the poles improves weight distribution during walking, and improves gait technique by using 90 % of muscles in the body. Nordic walking offers functional strengthening of weakened muscles.
- Lower perceived exertion - You can work harder for longer without feeling exhausted as you are utilising more of the body's musculature to propel you.
- Improved balance - The poles provide two further points of balance.
- Improved co-ordination - Using both right and left side of the brain.
- Improved mood - Exercises has been shown to improve mood and aid depression it is felt that Nordic walking may enhance this effect as it is a new and novel way to exercises.
Owner/operator and Senior Physiotherapist of Hibiscus Neuro Rehab.