Practical Fitness



Practical Fitness


Not your average exercise program

A word to the newly diagnosed- If you are still in reasonably good physical condition, do not slack off.

Keep exercising. Keep playing sports. Keeping active will keep you out of a wheel chair. -See Books list below
A word to the rest- It is never too late to start exercising and never too early.   Every movement can be controlled with practice-  You can reverse you PD symptoms with exercise and practice.Stretching is important- You have PD every day. Do something for your PD every day. It can’t get better without a persistent attitude to improve yourself.Stretch before you get out of bed. Stretch at the table. Stretch while reading or watching TV. ADPA and NPF both have Free books on stretchingSilver Sneakers is good for beginners also. Exercise –BIG movement is better. PD is trying to curl you up into a ball. Resist it. Stretch, Reach, take BIG steps, lift your feet high. The movement you think you are doing is a lot smaller than you think. Have someone tell you if you look normal.Examples-
-Practice hand writing BIG, fill up the whole page with giant letters, do this after some exercise.-Side step as BIG as you can and count LOUD with each step. Have someone hold onto you if needed.-Walk forward 10 Steps counting LOUD 1 to 10 (as LOUD as you can) and repeat- (Mark 2 places in your house which are about 10 steps apart and count loud every time you pass those spots. Next time see if you can walk it in 9 steps.)-Reach as far UP as you can to the right (while sitting or stand and touch a spot on the wall) and touch the floor to the left 10 times. Repeat on other side. Have someone near by to help if you get off balance or stand in a corner. Too easy- hold a weight in your hand

How much is good? Don’t hurt yourself. If you can’t get a physical therapists or personal trainer to help try this:
10-15 repetitions of each exercise. That should slightly elevate your heart rate and breathing. Try 5-15 more for a total of 20-30. This should ache some while doing the exercise, but quickly feel normal again after stopping. A slightly elevated heart rate is good, but you should still be able to talk without difficulty. Too easy? Add more weight or more repetitions. Can’t get to 15? – decrease weight. Good exercise routines will last 30-60 minutes. If that is too much split it up into 2 or 3 sessions each day. Make sure to pick exercises which will strengthen chest, back and core muscles. This will help your posture and walking. ADPA and NPF now both have books on exercise that are FREE. If you not in good shape or have not done an exercise program before, they are a good place to start. If you are in better physical shape you will want to get the Delay the Disease: Exercise and PD book or a cardio- fitness program. The YMCA has good programs. Pedaling for Parkinson’s is available at some YMCAs including, Mill Creak YMCA. Get walking– Count your steps out loud and concentrate on taking BIG steps. Try working up to 100 steps without stopping. If you have balance problems, wear a chest belt and have a partner to walk with you who can catch you if you loose your balance. (Do not hold onto your partner’s hand. This will help you fall.) Practice walking BIG LONG steps and walking will get easier. Timid walking will make you fall more in the long run. Check out the recommended books (Delay and Disease and PD & the Art of Moving) for best instructions.

Posture Check– I like to call posture check every 15 minutes in the car or watching TV. This includes sitting up tall, looking over right shoulder then left (don’t do this second part if you’re driving) and then flexing the ankles.
Attitude – Attitude effects every aspect of your life now as it always did. It is the single most important aspect of controlling your PD1.  Smile – 10 times a day for 1 minute each time- Smiling is shown to increase dopamine levels in the brain, even fake smiling. It will also make your spouse and friends happier.
2.Positive statements– “I am Happy!”
“I love life.”
“Life is good.”
“I may have Parkinson’s, but it doesn’t have me!”Post these on the bathroom mirror or other frequented spot in the house and say them out loud with gusto every time you see them.
3.Be Grateful– Say “thank-you” and “please” often.If you haven’t noticed people are helping you a lot more than they used to. Be kind to them and treat them with a smile and “thank you.”Write down 5 things you’re grateful every day and watch your life improve.
4.Watch and listen to positive things. The TV is full of negative news and it will be there forever. It negatively effects your PD. Would you take a pill everyday to make your PD worse? Then cut back on the negative news if you want to walk better. Get the TV out of the bedroom. You don’t need another excuse to be in bed!

5.Read positive materials – Get those old Positive Mental Attitude books out of the attic. They really do help if you take them seriously.I highly recommend you start with Being Happy by Andrew Matthews. It’s easy to read. For under $15 you can have a mental attitude makeover. Happiness in Hard times is great, but it’s not for wimps.

Books on Exercise for PD

Delay the Disease –Exercise books for Parkinson’s for those who can tolerate regular activity and really want to get fit. Www.DelayThe Get the DVD and you can have your own class at home. It includes Cardio exercises at all levels and stretching. This is not a book for those who are inactive. You need to work up to this.

John Argue- Parkinson’s Disease and the Art of Moving has an simple thoughtful movement program set up in 10 lessons. It is NOT a cardio-intensive program- DVD also available to lead you through the program. This book is good for any level of fitness. It encourages you to think about your movements.

ADPA- Be Active! Exercise Program for PD is mostly stretching, some strengthening. It’s a Good start for beginners. Good info on stretching for everyone. 1-800-223-2732–This is the best free book I have seen.

NPF-PD Fitness Counts Good for stretching and leads you through more of what to look for in strengthening routine – (305) 243-6666