Intense exercising by people with early stage Parkinson’s may be able to delay a worsening of the disease, new research found.
According to Dr. Daniel Corcos, research leader at Northwestern University School of Medicine; intense exercise, three times a week, while elevating your heart rate to 80-85 beats per minute will delay the progression of Parkinson’s symptoms. On the other hand, a more moderate exercise level was ineffective in slowing the disease. Most important, the earlier in the disease you start with intensive exercise, the greater likelihood you can prevent the progression of the disease.
Exercising: Parkinson’s Disease
These results do challenge the long-held belief that intense exercise is too physically stressful for people with Parkinson’s disease.
The new study included 128 patients, ages 40 to 80, who had early stage Parkinson’s and were not yet taking medications for the disease.
Some of the patients did high-intensity workouts three times a week for six months, others did moderate-intensity workouts, and a control group did no exercise.
Exercising: Test Results
The results showed that intense exercise was safe and delayed worsening of Parkinson’s symptoms such as loss of muscle control, trembling, stiffness, slowness and impaired balance.
More research is needed as the effective delayed progression lasted for only six months.
Parkinson’s disease affects about 1 million people in the United States. Incidence increases with age, and men are 1.5 times more likely than women to have the disorder, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation.