Hurdling over Barriers to Exercise
Although there are many identified benefits for exercise in both healthy adults and those with PD, this can be a challenge to start and stick with a regular exercise program. Exercise has been found to improve gait (walking), balance, strength, and flexibility in those with PD. Research has also shown improvement in overall quality of life with a regular exercise program. Regular exercise can also help with some of the non-motor symptoms of PD including depression and constipation.
Why is sticking with it so hard?
Low expectations for what an exercise program may provide, lack of time to exercise and fear of falling have been found to be the primary barriers to those with PD. Individuals with PD may also be dealing with depression, sleep disturbances, and fatigue which can make exercise more challenging.
What strategies can help you be successful?
Start by choosing something you enjoy doing. There has been research to support the following exercises
Try to partner up or find a group. It is easier to stick with something when you have someone holding you accountable.
Make exercise part of your routine.
Try to plan ahead and make it part of your schedule.
Try to keep the intensity of the exercise at “somewhat hard” on an exertion scale. (see below)
If you have a smart watch or a pedometer set goals for your daily steps and gradually challenge yourself.
Need help setting up an exercise program, feel your exercise program needs some tweaks, or you need an accountability partner. Set up a session and we will be happy to help!