Strength Training to Managing Parkinson's Disease

Regular exercise under the supervision of an Exercise Physiologist can help to improve coordination, gait, balance and decrease stiffness for people living with Parkinson's disease. Kieser Exercise Physiologist, Jo Falconer, shares some insights on how exercise can help manage the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

What is Parkinson's disease 

Parkinson's Disease is a progressive condition caused by damage to the part of the brain which produces dopamine. This dopamine deficiency causes a poverty of movement which is recognised by the most commonly known Parkinson's symptoms; tremor, rigidity (muscle and joint stiffness) and bradykinesia (slow movement). Before these motor symptoms are detected other changes may be happening which often go unnoticed including loss of smell, difficulty sleeping/restless in bed and deterioration of fine motor skills such as handwriting.

30 people are diagnosed with Parkinson's in Australia every day and approximately 100,000 Australians currently have Parkinson's. The average age of onset is 55 to 60 yrs and while the cause is unknown the biggest risk factor is age. 

How can exercise help?

Physical exercise and strength training intervention is most effective as early after diagnosis as possible. Those diagnosed with Parkinson's disease benefit from general exercise in the same way a healthy population does - reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, maintaining muscle and bone health, improving mental health and well-being along with many other benefits. But specific exercise programs designed by an Exercise Physiologist for those with Parkinson's disease can directly address their specific symptoms, improving coordination and balance, gait, balance and decrease stiffness, while also improving memory, mood, and sleep.  

The 11th of April is World Parkinson’s Day, which is a global campaign aimed at raising awareness of Parkinson’s disease. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, visit your Exercise Physiologist at Kieser today for a tailored exercise program.

Managing Parkinson Symptoms with Strength Training

Our Kieser physiotherpay and exercise physiologists have wirtten an article about managing Parkinson Symptoms with Strenght Training before - to summarise, regular exercise is extremely important in treating and managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Benefits of regular exercise can include increased health related quality of life, muscular strength and endurance, balance, mobility, walking speed and achievement of outcomes.

Falls & Balance Classes at Kieser

Falls and balance group classes are currently running at a number of our centres. Prior to attending a class, you must undergo an initial consultation and balance assessment with a Kieser Exercise Physiologist, who will provide you with an exercise program tailored to your level of ability. If you feel like balance and risk of falling is an issue, please visit your local Kieser centre for more information.

By following your Kieser training program your balance will improve over time reducing the risk of falls and imbalances.

 

You can learn more and find useful articles and resources on the Parkinson's Australia website.

Article written and sourced by Jo Falconer, Exercise Physiologist at Kieser Essendon.

Contact your closest Kieser fitness centre or discover what's involved to get started on your fitness or rehabilitation journey.

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