My life as a degenerate

Exercise helps with mobility, flexibility, balance and motor coordination

May 2013

Exercise options: Keeping my brain and body in shape

If there is one thing that everyone agrees on, it is that exercise is important for PwP. So important that one must make an effort to include exercise into one's daily routine.

I like the idea of exercise, but I have to work on actually doing it every day. You won't see me at 6:30am running for an hour, rain, hail or snow, for example. More likely I'm getting up around 10am and spending a large part of my day in front of the computer.

So what is the best exercise for PwP? One website suggests that the best exercise is that which you will want to do as you will stick with it.

Types of exercise

I have read that cycling is particularly beneficial for PwP. You can do this at the gym, go to a spin class or ride your own bike.

While you're at the gym, add strength training to your regimen, as it can improve the symptoms.

Tai chi helps PwP as it promotes balance and motor control.

Dance is gaining popularity as a medium for improving movement, balance and general fitness, as well as being a fun, social activity. Classes such as Zumba, Cumbia and NIA are based on dance to different extents. NIA classes are a mixture of tai chi (martial arts), yoga and dance (modern and jazz).

One easy way to get exercise is to go for daily walks. Those who have dogs have an incentive to get exercise by taking the dog for a walk, and it is good for the dog too.

Don't forget stretching. Start the day with some stretches even before you get out of bed. Stretching maintains and may even improve flexibility. Try doing them after other exercise, or after a shower. Consider adding leg, arm, and shoulder stretches to your existing routine. Yoga classes are great for stretching, and you will notice improvements in your flexibility if you take them regularly.

Other benefits of exercise

Studies show that exercise is good for the brain too. Neuroplasticity - practice makes perfect is a detailed article about what types of exercise benefit the brain. Repetition, quality vs quantity, and enrichment are some of the things to aim for when choosing an exercise program.

Whatever exercise program you choose, know that you are doing yourself the world of good, so persevere with it. Keep on keeping on!


Apr-Jun 2013: Support groups in Oregon        My life as a degenerate        May 2013: Motor and non-motor symptoms