Parkinson’s is a condition that affects more than 13,000 New Zealanders and can affect anyone of any age but exercise and movement have been shown to significantly improve the lives of those who have the disease.

Today marks the start of Parkinson’s Awareness Week, which runs from 1 to 7 November. The theme for this year’s week is 200 Years of Parkinson’s Is Too Long. The year 2017 marks 200 years since Parkinson’s was recognized as a medical condition, and while efforts will made to acknowledge 200 years of progress in understanding and treating Parkinson’s the main message is that 200 years is too long to wait for a cure.

“While 200 years is far too long for people to wait for a cure, there has been significant scientific progress in it the last few years and exciting research is taking place in New Zealand,” says Parkinson’s New Zealand chief executive Deirdre O’Sullivan.

Some of that research has focused on the benefits of physical therapy and exercise. ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie (pictured below) says exercise has been shown to significantly improve the lives of those who have Parkinson’s.

“What’s important is that exercise needs intensity and also a cognitive function – engaging the mind and the body – to have the best effects. So, things such as dancing, or workouts with certain types of agility components, can be the most effective,” Beddie says.

“Parkinson’s is a progressive, neurological disease, with no cure. Symptoms and progression can be managed as exercise helps. Symptoms of Parkinson’s include lack of balance, tremors, stiffness or rigidity, and slowness of movement known as bradykinesia.

“One per cent of Kiwi adults over the age of 60 suffer the disease. Symptoms include a lack of balance and tremors.

“Exercise increases the body’s response to dopamine cells in the brain, thus slowing the progression of the disease in some people, and helping to manage the symptoms in others.

“Balanced exercises assist with reducing falls. People with Parkinson’s are at greater risk of falls.

Even 20 minutes a day of gentle exercise can help afflicted people.

“Exercise activities such as walking or dancing are steps in the right direction for people living with Parkinson’s disease. Getting exercise in early after diagnosis is key for the best outcomes.

“Fitness activity could help prevent falls in people living with the disease. Quite a number of New Zealand exercise trainers encourage people with the disease to be active.”

Beddie says people with Parkinson’s should work with their doctor or physio and then an exercise professional that has specialist training.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I was around 58 when my thumb started giving me problems. As time passed i had other symptoms; hand tremors, restless sleep, muscle weakness, cognitive decline, voice spasm, stiff achy right arm and ankle. At 60 i was diagnose of PARKINSONS DISEASE, i was on Carbidopa and Pramipexole for two years, they helped alot but not for long. As the disease progressed my symptoms worsened, with my neurologist guidance i started on natural alternative PARKINSONS DISEASE treatment from R.H.F. (Rich Herbs Foundation), the treatment worked very effectively, my severe symptoms simply vanished, i feel better now than I have ever felt and i can feel my strength again. Visit ww w. richherbsfoundation. c om. My neurologist was very open when looking at alternative medicines and procedures, this alternative parkinson disease treatment is a breakthrough.

  2. The love of my life for the last 17 years was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease nearly 4 years ago, at age 52. He had a stooped posture, tremors, muscle stiffness, horrible driving skills, and slow movement. He was placed on Sinemet 50/200 at night for 7 months and then Sifrol and rotigotine were introduced which replaced the Sinemet but he had to stop due to side effects. He started having hallucinations, lost touch with reality. Suspecting it was the medications I took him off the Siferol (with the doctor’s knowledge) In March this year his primary physician suggested we started him on Natural Herbal Gardens Parkinson’s Herbal formula which eased his anxiety a bit, i’m happy to report this PD herbal treatment worked very effectively. His Parkinson’s is totally under control, he had a total decline in symptoms, the tremors, shaking, stiffness, slow movement and speech problems stopped. Visit Natural Herbal Gardens official web page ww w. naturalherbalgardens. c om. My family are amazed at the change and rapid improvement. This herbal treatment is a breakthrough for all PD sufferers. SHARE WITH FRIENDS!!

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