Do you have 30 minutes for this today?
Your hands are trembling… your movement is like molasses… and your muscles are stiff as a board.
When you’ve got Parkinson’s disease, it feels like something out of that 1950’s flick Invasion of the Body Snatchers — like your body is no longer your own!
As someone who’s lived with a Parkinson’s diagnosis for a dozen years, I know how “alien” it can be to have a disease that threatens to claim control over your movement.
With no drug that “cures” Parkinson’s, it can feel like there’s no hope.
But according to a new study, you can “snatch” your body back from Parkinson’s grip — because there’s a way to slow the disease’s progression naturally.
And it involves regaining your ease of movement… by getting moving!
The study, published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, followed 3,400 Parkinson’s patients in North America, the Netherlands, and Israel for two years, keeping track of how frequently they exercised.
It turns out that people with the most advanced Parkinson’s saw the GREATEST benefit from exercise.
At the end of the study, those who maintained an exercise routine of two and a half hours each week — or the equivalent of a half hour, five days a week — had the SMALLEST decline in mobility and quality of life, compared to those who didn’t exercise as much or at all.
In fact, non-exercisers actually WORSENED over the course of the study.
And what’s more, it didn’t matter what type of exercise the participants did to reap the benefits, as long as they were getting some form of movement under their belts for those two and a half hours per week.
This may come as a relief, if you find some of the more “unorthodox” physical activities I’ve shared with you a bit intimidating.
And whether it’s for weight loss, your heart health, detoxifying, or reducing pain and inflammation, it’s never too late to start turning things around with some physical activity.
Just find something you love to do for exercise and stick with it. Even gentle forms of movement like walking, gardening, playing with your grandkids at the park, or taking a senior-friendly yoga class will fit the bill.
Being active also boosts your mood along with your strength and motor control, which is important because Parkinson’s can saddle you with anxiety and depression as it advances.