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What are some good exercises for Parkinson's disease?

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Quick Answer

Attending aerobic, tai chi or yoga classes, dancing to music, walking, and playing sports, such as volleyball, tennis, golf or ping pong are good exercises that challenge motor planning in individuals with Parkinson's disease, according to the Parkinson's Disease Clinic and Research Center. Doctors also recommend stepping over obstacles.

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Full Answer

Learning-based and aerobic exercises are helpful for people with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, notes the Parkinson's Disease Clinic and Research Center. It helps if patients engage in exercise routines that challenge the heart and lungs and encourage symmetric movements, trunk rotation, proper posture and good biomechanics.

Research shows that people with Parkinson's disease also likely benefit from exercises that challenge them to alter direction, activity or tempo, states the Parkinson's Disease Clinic and Research Center. Exercises that aim to improve balance, body adjustment, reciprocal movements and attention are also important.

Swimming using various strokes while the eyes are open is a good cardiopulmonary exercise that challenges motor learning and boosts the heart rate, says the Parkinson's Disease Clinic and Research Center. It also helps to use walking sticks when hiking and to perform treadmill walking at varying speeds and inclines. Physicians suggest bodyweight-supported treadmills for protection from falling. Individuals with Parkinson's disease may try doing a few activities simultaneously, especially watching television, singing, writing or reading. Joining group exercise programs or dancing classes can make exercising fun.

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