Q:

What is a good exercise program for someone living with Parkinson's?

A:

Quick Answer

Aeroboic and learning-based exercises may be beneficial for people living with Parkinson's, according to the Parkinson's Disease Clinic and Research Center at the University of California. Some examples include walking outside, dancing, yoga, tai chi, sports and aerobics classes.

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What is a good exercise program for someone living with Parkinson's?
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Full Answer

People with Parkinson's sometimes benefit from performing exercises that challenge them to change tempo, direction or activity frequently, according to the Parkinson's Disease Clinic and Research Center. People with Parkinson's have trouble shifting between activities, so a suitable exercise program includes a variety of activities. Activities that involve paying attention and learning, such as dancing, are good forms of exercise to include.

People with Parkinson's should aim to exercise four to five times a week for at least 30 to 40 minutes, as stated by the Parkinson's Disease Clinic and Research Center. During this time, the heart rate should be between 70 and 80 percent of its maximum rate, which is 220 minus the age of the person. People with Parkinson's may benefit from exercising with other people by attending tai chi, yoga or dance classes.

Doctors do not recommend weightlifting with heavy weights as part of an exercise program for someone with Parkinson's, as it can make stiffness worse, according to the Parkinson's Disease Clinic and Research Center. Lifting light weights or doing push-ups can help to maintain muscle tone without causing as much stiffness.

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