My personal experience with Parkinson’s is that exercising regularly has had a positive effect upon my limb movement, joint stiffness and general wellbeing. In order to gain maximum benefit I have recently engaged with a personal trainer at my local gym. We cover a wide variety of activities, which include cardio vascular, use of free weights and general stretching routines. I have also started to attend a Kinesis class, which I will report on at a later date.
It has been recommended to me that I should aim to exercise four to five times a week for at least 30 to 40 minutes. Initially this seemed a tall order however with varied routines and positive results being recorded I now relish the opportunity to exercise every day.
Previously I have found benefit from group activities by attending yoga and swim classes. The final decision on what activity is suitable is personal but my advice is frequency is key.
Generally health professionals do not recommend lifting heavy weights as part of an exercise program for someone with Parkinson’s, as it can make stiffness worse. Lifting light weights or doing push-ups can help to maintain muscle tone without causing as much stiffness.
Recently I have recorded some short video clips of my latest gym routine. I would recommend this as it enables you to check posture after completing routines and to double check angles of limb movements. If video isn’t appropriate then you may want to consider training with a partner.
Kettlebells are an excellent free weight to build into your routine. Originating from Russia and dating back to the 1700s they were considered one of the most effective tools for increasing strength and power. Recently kettlebells and kettlebell training have experienced a resurgence as personal trainers embrace functional training with free weights as opposed to machine-based training.
Today, kettlebells can be used just like dumbbells to add weight to conventional exercises such as squats, deadlifts and lunges. All of which I have found hugely beneficial.
TRX been incorporated within my schedule to increase hip mobility (maybe I will be able to join that dance class one day after all!) and core strength. This simple piece of equipment is incredibly versatile and can even be used at home.