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Parkinson’s fitness programs need to be tailored to the individual to get results

Saturday July 14, 2012
Begin by consulting with your medical exercise team (your healthcare provider, physical therapist and exercise trainer with medical expertise). These specialists will help you design a program that takes into consideration the many factors listed below and hopefully design a program that is balanced, practical and manageable. Ask your personal trainer or physical therapist if your program addresses each of these:
  • General Health- What is the best program to enhance medical conditions such as heart, lung, diabetes risk, weight management, back problems and arthritis?
  • Aging- What exercises will combat the effects of aging such as arthritis, muscle loss and balance.
  • Individual Strengths and Weakness- What muscle groups or exercises should be used to strengthen a person’s weaker areas, tightness or imbalances in movement.
  • Symptoms- What is best for symptoms such as fatigue, pain, memory problems, or depression.
  • Behavior- What program is best tailored for the intense athlete, a nonathletic person, a motivated individual or non-motivated person and other behavioral and/or personal attributes that impact success.
  • Goals- What are the goals of the person? What do they want exercise to help them do?
  • Parkinson’s- What program will target symptoms of Parkinson’s, enhance and normalize neurological control of movement
  • Neuroplasticity- Learning and the impact of the experience are important factors for neuroplasticity. What can be added to optimize the experience and challenge learning?

Monique L. Giroux, MDMonique L. Giroux, MD
Medical Director, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation

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