Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease (behind Alzheimer’s disease) afflicting over 1.6 million people in the U.S.
There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease (PD); the cause is still unknown. Currently, there are nearly two million people in the U.S. diagnosed with PD and that number is expected to grow by 60,000 new cases in the next two years.
When 50% of the brain’s neurotransmitters, called dopamine, are lost, clinical features and symptoms begin to appear. Some include tremors, Bradykinesia (slow movements) and rigidity. Other changes that can occur are loss of cognition, changes in gait and posture, altered walking because of freezing, sleep disturbances and other reflexes such as swallowing.
It is reasonable to say that exercise benefits have the potential to help both motor (balance, gait, strength/endurance) and non-motor (depression, apathy, fatigue, constipation) aspects of PD, as well as secondary complications of immobility (cardiovascular, osteoporosis). In a recent study conducted by Beth Fisher et al. researchers at USC found that exercise may influence the brain. On a day-to-day basis, people with PD who exercised were able to move around more normally than those who did not!
On a personal note, the first time I learned about PD was when my dear uncle was diagnosed. That was over 35 years ago. After becoming a fitness trainer, I knew what I had to do. I developed a customized plan of exercise that specifically addressed Parkinson’s symptoms. Not only do my team and I work with clients with this dreaded disease, but now I teach other trainers the same methods.
A colleague and I created a workshop for other like-minded trainers called Beyond the Training Norm, which we presented last month. This unique class instructs others how to help seniors, including those with Parkinson’s disease, through fitness.
Allow Lori Michiel Fitness to help if someone you know has the disease and wants to slow the progression and start feeling more in control.
For more information about specific PD programs or programs to improve your balance, confidence or additional ways to be more active, reduce the pain associated with arthritis or injury, contact us. You can also refer to our FAQ page aka Questions and Answers, follow us on Facebook or check out our website at www.lorimichielfitness for other important fitness information, email us or simply call us at 818-620-1442 for a consultation.