Buried Treasure (What Parkinson’s Gave Me)

Buried Treasure (What Parkinson’s Gave Me)

How Parkinson’s gave me a better long-range jumper, a better baseball throwing arm, and a better outlook on life! I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease over a decade ago. I was 38. Parkinson’s is chronic, degenerative, and without a cure. Yet, over the last several years I’ve steadily improved my basketball and baseball games, deeply learning my capabilities in the process. Oh, and I also found both peace and purpose through Parkinson’s somewhere along the way! Parkinson’s is a neurological condition with full-body consequences. Most people’s Parkinson's troubles are movement-related. Some are most troubled by what’s referred to as non-motor ...
"My person with Parkinson’s won’t do anything. I can’t get them to exercise, and I don’t know what to do."

“My person with Parkinson’s won’t do anything. I can’t get them to exercise, and I don’t know what to do.”

The Davis Phinney Foundation (DPF) has an article on their website that is an interesting read. Apparently, one of the most common questions they receive from friends and care partners of people with Parkinson’s is this: "My person with Parkinson’s won’t do anything. I can’t get them to exercise, and I don’t know what to do." If that is the situation that you find yourself in, I can appreciate the sense of desperation and the desire to help. However, if you truly want to help, begin with some self-examination. If your friend or partner overhears you making a statement like this, you may actually ...
Exercise for Parkinson's Disease - Understanding Exercise Intensity & Forced Exercise

Exercise for Parkinson’s Disease – Understanding Exercise Intensity & Forced Exercise

This presentation explains some concepts regarding exercise for Parkinson's Disease, explaining how exercise intensity is measured and why it matters, and the concepts of vigorous intensity exercise and forced exercise ...
WPC2019 : Linda K. Olson - If I Can Do It, You Can Do It, Get Out And Go

WPC2019 : Linda K. Olson – If I Can Do It, You Can Do It, Get Out And Go

Wow...my words are inadequate to describe the inspirational intensity of WPC2019 opening session keynote speaker Linda K. Olson. In 1979, at the age of 29, Linda lost both her legs above the knee and her right arm in a “train vs. car accident” in Germany. She told her husband of 2 years, who was less seriously injured in the accident that if he wanted to leave her, she’d understand.  He responded “I didn’t marry your arms and your legs … if you can do it, I can do it.” They chose to focus on what they could do, not what ...
On-line PD Exercise Programs – Daily Dose PD

On-line PD Exercise Programs – Daily Dose PD

Earlier this year, Nate Coomer, founder of The Parkinson’s Fitness Project, launched The Daily Dose: an exercise program designed to benefit those with Parkinson’s Disease that can be done from the comfort of their own home, while still providing the benefit of community and guidance by a certified physical therapist. A local TV station in Seattle reports on Nate Coomer’s online exercise program for Parkinson’s Disease, the Daily Dose PD: ...
Online PD Exercise Videos - Alexander Tressor PDOnTheMove.com

Online PD Exercise Videos – Alexander Tressor PDOnTheMove.com

Alexander Tressor is a broadway dancer and ballet instructor who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2007. He founded PDOnTheMove.com to share the exercise programs and lifestyle changes that have worked for him fight back against Parkinson’s. If you’re looking for ideas to improve or extend your home exercise routine, his website is a fantastic resource with hours of suggested workouts and a free library of individual exercises. More: https://pdonthemove.com/ Gifted with a fantastic sense of humor, he also spends time as a motivational speaker for Parkinson’s groups. His 2012 video “Shaken, Not Stirred” is a YouTube Parkinson’s classic…light-hearted, entertaining and educational: ...
What I Wish I Knew, But Am Glad I Didn't Know (When I Was Diagnosed With Parkinson's)

What I Wish I Knew, But Am Glad I Didn’t Know (When I Was Diagnosed With Parkinson’s)

This title sounds like something Yogi Berra might have said. Like baseball, Parkinson's Disease is 90% mental and the other half is physical. (I think that's actually quite a profound analysis of life with PD.) What I wish I knew when I was first diagnosed with Parkinson's is that a lot of people continue to lead long active lives with Parkinson's Disease for 10 to 20 years, and even longer, and some actually lead more active and more productive lives post-diagnosis. John Cleese once said, "Life is a terminal disease, and it is sexually transmitted." Parkinson's by contrast, is neither ...
Balance Exercises for Parkinson's

Balance Exercises for Parkinson’s

(Author's Note: Oops, I pressed the button to publish this article and video compilation before it was complete. Please consider it a work in progress.) Balance Training is not a Parkinson's specific issue, it is an issue for everyone as they age. Selecting the appropriate balance exercises will depend on how good your balance currently is. There are many factors that affect balance, and it can be argued that all leg strengthening and core strengthening and flexibility exercises are, in a way, balance exercises. I've highlighted a few videos that provide ideas to consider when selecting balance exercises. If you ...
April 6, 2019 - Parkinson's Weekly Update

April 6, 2019 – Parkinson’s Weekly Update

This is a recap of the most interesting news and discussions related to Parkinson’s Disease this past week. We start by trying to make sense of the latest news reports about Vitamin B-12 and hereditary Parkinson's. The research is very preliminary, but quite interesting when considered in conjunction with other recent studies. Next we ponder why researchers are giving fruit flies jet lag; see how PD progression can be measured with standard MRI equipment; learn why yelling at clouds may be a sign of a particular non-motor symptom of PD; watch local TV news stations participate in Parkinson's Disease Awareness ...
How Much Should I Exercise for Parkinson's Disease? (Video + Presentation)

How Much Should I Exercise for Parkinson’s Disease? (Video + Presentation)

We've created a PowerPoint video presentation detailing exercise recommendations and related research for people with Parkinson's Disease. The presentation slides can be viewed interactively below: This is an embedded Microsoft Office presentation, powered by Office Online. The presentation slides can be downloaded by clicking on the image below: ...
March 9, 2019 - Parkinson's Weekly Update

March 9, 2019 – Parkinson’s Weekly Update

This is a recap of the most interesting news and discussions relating to Parkinson’s Disease this past week. Researchers delivered a sobering statistic that if you can survive more than 10 years with Parkinson's, there is a greater than 50% chance of developing dementia...and reminded us that regular exercise is the best intervention to avoid becoming a statistic. Fee-fi-fo-fum, this woman can smell the musky smell of Parkinson's...the fascinating story of a wife who nagged her husband about his hygiene for years before his PD diagnosis...20+ years later researchers are using her to sniff out biomarkers that can be used ...
What if my PD tremors are worse when I exercise?

What if my PD tremors are worse when I exercise?

This question was asked in class last week. Our instructor indicated that this was normal, and nothing to be concerned about. However, I thought it might be helpful to explore this issue in a little more depth. Dr. Rachel Dolhun, a VP of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, states: "People with Parkinson's may notice that some symptoms such as tremor increase during exercise, but this doesn't mean tremor will worsen over the long run." Source: https://www.michaeljfox.org/foundation/news-detail.php?exercise-and-parkinson-frequently-asked-questions That's reassuring...but there is another point worth mentioning. It is actually quite normal for people who do not have Parkinson's to experience muscle shaking and ...
Tracking Parkinson's Disease Exercise Progress with a Heart Rate Monitor

Tracking Parkinson’s Disease Exercise Progress with a Heart Rate Monitor

Looking back on 5 years of intense exercise since my Parkinson's diagnosis in 2014, I'm glad that my personal trainer convinced me to start wearing a heart rate monitor about 2 years ago. The greatest benefit is that it keeps me motivated and focused on meeting my exercise goals. The MyZone system awards points (called MEPs) for every minute spent in the various exercise intensity zones. These zones correspond to percentage of maximum heart rate. Exercise intensity and maximum heart rate is discussed in more detail here: https://parkinson.fit/how-much-should-i-exercise-for-pd/ If you have PD, with no other limiting health conditions, and have ...
Study: Exercising 2.5 hours per week slows Parkinson's Disease

Study: Exercising 2.5 hours per week slows Parkinson’s Disease

In a research study published in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease, researchers from Northwestern University determined that that people who exercised regularly had significantly slower declines in HRQL (health related quality of life) and mobility over a two-year period ...
Running with Parkinson's Disease - Dreams of Flight

Running with Parkinson’s Disease – Dreams of Flight

There was a recurring theme in some of my dreams when I was younger...I'd try to run, but despite my best efforts, I was unable to make any forward progress. It was never a situation where I was running away from something, more like I was trying to run toward something. I'd get frustrated, trying to move my legs faster, but I would seem to be running in place. After some period of frustration, it would hit me…I’d remember that I could fly, I just needed to use my arms. Flying dreams were the best. I'm certain these dreams were ...

PD 101: Exercise, Medication, Nutrition & Lifestyle

Since being diagnosed with PD in 2014, I've had the pleasure to meet individuals who have lived with Parkinson's for 10 to 20 years, and even longer. The common theme for living well with PD is regular exercise and staying active. PD may be a life sentence, but it is far from being a death sentence. Think of exercise as your most important prescription, something that you need to make time for almost every day. Exercise is more important than any medication, but medication is often necessary or helpful to maximize your ability to exercise ...
propd

How Much Should I Exercise for PD?

At the recent World Parkinson Congress 2016, the main theme that I noticed is that exercise is the best medicine for PD. It may not be as effective at treating PD symptoms as l-dopa, but all the research and anecdotal evidence clearly shows that collectively, those who exercise regularly enjoy a far better quality of life with PD, for a longer period of time, as compared to those who do not. While medical research continues to be important, the best thing that can be done for the growing number of People with Parkinson's (PwP) today is to encourage exercise. There is a ...

A 10+ Year Experience with Parkinson’s Disease and Intense Exercise – Neil Sligar

Neil Sligar's story is worth checking out. Diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1998, he began a vigorous exercise program in 2000. He wrote about his experience after 10+ years. There are at least 3 articles and 2 interviews worth viewing. A write-up after 8 years describes his approach: http://katekelsall.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/09/lifting-the-wei.html Setting small targets has been critical to my improved performances. Focus on tiny gains in the near future rather than big goals in the long term. You can surprise yourself how far you reach. To mark 10 years of intense exercise, he wrote a follow-up article at http://katekelsall.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/01/parkinsons-disease-and-intense-exercise-neil-sligars-10-year-experience.html Here are a few ...
Study: Weight Training Improves Parkinson's Disease Symptoms

Study: Weight Training Improves Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

I've been working hard to regain the strength in my right arm that Parkinson's took away from me. I'm making progress. Weight training is a key ingredient in these efforts. It is important to stress that vigorous exercise is not all about cardio, in fact, weight training is a key component. More specifically, I'm referring to weight training as a progressive resistance exercise. This is a strength training method in which the load is gradually increased to allow muscles to adapt. The body adapts to exercise and needs to be constantly challenged in order to continue to grow and change ...
Does vigorous exercise have a neuroprotective effect in Parkinson's Disease?

Does vigorous exercise have a neuroprotective effect in Parkinson’s Disease?

I've started this topic to collect references to studies that explore the neuroprotective benefits of vigorous exercise to slow the progression of Parkinson's Disease. Let's start with a few quotes from the National Parkinson Foundation ... Research has shown that exercise can improve gait, balance, tremor, flexibility, grip strength and motor coordination. ... There is a strong consensus among physicians and physical therapists that improved mobility decreases the risk of falls and some other complications of Parkinson’s. ... Beyond this, we know that people who exercise vigorously, for example by doing things like running or riding a bicycle, have fewer ...
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