Because movements are affected in Parkinson's disease, exercising may help people improve their mobility. Some doctors prescribe physical therapy or muscle- strengthening exercises to tone muscles and to put underused and rigid muscles through a full range of motion.
Exercises will not stop disease progression, but they may improve body strength so that the person is less disabled. Exercises also improve balance, helping people overcome gait problems, and can strengthen certain muscles so that people can speak and swallow better. Exercises can also improve the emotional well- being of parkinsonian patients by giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Whatever form of exercise you choose, make sure it is something that gets your muscles moving, your heart pumping, and that you can keep up with it every day. Walking, jogging, stretching, swimming, and other activities are terrific ways to help you cope with the tremor, muscle stiffness, and slow movements that may occur with Parkinson's disease. You will probably find a daily exercise routine will help you to feel better about yourself and your condition, continue functioning, maintain a good body weight, and sleep better at night. Make sure to consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. Do not exercise when you feel tired.
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