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Everyday Exercise Associated with Lower Parkinson’s Risk

By Dian Brannen, 6:43 pm on

A study published in Brain: A Journal of Neurology suggests that a moderate amount of exercise or physical activity may reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Involving over 40,000 men and women who were free of Parkinson’s disease, the study took place for more than a decade, with about 300 individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s by the conclusion of the study.

As a leading provider of Parkinson’s care in the Lehigh Valley, we wanted to share some of the information presented in the above mentioned study so that families and their senior loved ones can be better educated in how to prevent the onset of the disease.

Everyday Exercise Can Come In Many Forms

The study suggests that almost any form of physical exercise or moderate activity can be beneficial. This can include simple activities such as walking up and down stairs on a daily basis, taking a bike to work, or performing routine household chores. While any type of exercise can be beneficial, the study found that men who participated in medium-level physical activities throughout the research period had a 45 percent reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s compared to participants who exercised less intently.

Noticeable Benefits with More Exercise

Individuals in the study who got at least 6 hours of physical activity per week – including walking and other daily activities – had a 43 percent reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s over participants who exercised for at least 2 hours a week throughout the study period.

What It All Means

Leisure time activities alone were not associated with a reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, according to the study. What this means is that it’s generally a good idea to get daily exercise from a variety of sources, from playing sports and walking to structured workouts based on individual capabilities.

While the study suggests that daily exercise may be beneficial when it comes to reducing the risk of Parkinson’s, it’s not meant to suggest that increased physical activity automatically means you won’t get the condition. Parkinson’s, like similar dementia-related conditions, is also influenced by other factors such as genetics.

Starting an Exercise Regimen

As a Lehigh Valley home care provider, we understand that it can be hard for seniors and older adults to get back into an exercise routine. Seniors should first consult with their doctors to ensure that their health permits safe exercise, and then begin simple fitness activities to build muscle strength and endurance. As time passes, seniors can start to increase fitness activities, taking longer walks or even participating in a group-led exercise class at the local gym or senior center.

If your or an aging parent or loved one could use a helping hand or supervision with various physical exercises, reach out to Home Care Assistance of today. We provide live-in and hourly care for Lehigh Valley seniors, and our trained and compassionate caregivers can assist with a variety of activities from exercise and nutritious meal preparation to medication reminders and transportation. For more information about in-home care or to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation, call 484-350-3874 and speak with a friendly Care Manager.