Parkinson’s Disease and Exercise

Written by Kristen Maiden, HeartCORE Coach

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, which means that the disease gradually worsens over time. It is characterized by a loss of cells that are involved in the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that acts as a messenger between the brain cells to control movement. By the time a Parkinson’s diagnosis is made, nearly 80% of dopamine producing cells have stopped functioning. 

There are roughly 100,000 Canadians who are presently affected with Parkinson’s disease. Symptoms often arise around 60 years of age, but can also appear in people much younger. There is currently no known cause for Parkinson’s disease, but genetics and the environment are thought to be influencing factors.

How does exercise benefit Parkinson’s?

We all know that exercise is beneficial to your overall health, your heart and your muscles. But can it have a positive impact on your brain, and might these changes have an effect on the symptoms of people living with Parkinson’s disease?  

Our brains are able to adapt to new stimuli and actions through a process known as neuroplasticity. Exercise is a stimulus that can continually adapt the neuroplasticity in the brain, through different adaptations to movement. Those with Parkinson’s experience a decrease in dopamine which results in neurodegeneration, therefore performing activities that require the brain to reshape itself can help those with Parkinson’s to overcome this neurodegeneration. This gives those with Parkinson’s an increased ability to respond to various life experiences. Overall, people with Parkinson’s who exercise are able to move more normally than those who do not.

HeartCORE and Parkinson’s

HeartCORE is an exercise program focused on strength training along with cardiovascular training. HeartCORE is a one on one training program focused on meeting the needs of each individual client. Our coaches are determined to help each individual to reach their personal goals and improve their health and wellness. HeartCORE is a specialized program for those who may have limitations or would like to have support through their exercise sessions and programming. Therefore, HeartCORE is designed to help anyone, no matter who you are! HeartCORE’s focus on strength training along with cardiovascular training can help those with Parkinson’s achieve the recommended amount of exercise in a safe, motivational environment. HeartCORE can challenge you and help you achieve your goals!

HeartCORE is located at Heart Niagara. The address is 4635B Queen Street in Niagara Falls.  For more information call 905-358-5552 ext.109, email heartcore@heartniagara.com.

 

 

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