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Parkinson’s

The Vital Role of Exercise

A cornerstone of healthy living, exercise can significantly improve quality of life for those with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Research has shown that regular physical activity is crucial to maintaining physical functions such as flexibility, balance, and mobility. Exercise also provides significant relief from non-motor symptoms associated with PD, including depression, anxiety, constipation, and sleep issues.

Studies indicate that exercising for a minimum of 2.5 hours per week can make it easier to manage your symptoms, and may even slow the progression of PD.

To help manage your symptoms, create a program that includes a mix of the following:

Note: Always consult your doctor before starting any strenuous activity.

Safety Tips

  • Talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.
  • See a physical therapist to develop a personalized exercise program.
  • Exercise with a buddy for safety and motivation.
  • Bring a copy of your workout to ensure you follow it correctly.
  • Practice proper form to prevent injuries.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Set realistic and attainable goals, and progress slowly.
  • Ask a friend or family member to help you stick to your program.

*The Parkinson’s Outcomes Project, presented in 2015, found that 2.5 Hours of Weekly Exercise is Associated with Slower Decline in Quality of Life In PD patients. This study tracked 2,940 people with Parkinson’s over two years and found that those who exercised at least 2.5 hours per week are associated with better health-related quality of life and slower decline.

Nutrition

healthy food
Just like exercise, a healthy diet benefits everybody but can be especially beneficial to people with PD. Embracing a diet rich in natural and organic foods, like the Mediterranean diet, fosters overall wellness and can aid in managing some non-motor Parkinson’s symptoms.

Key Components of the Mediterranean Diet

  • Rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, and seeds.
  • Prioritizes seafood and poultry while minimizing red and processed meats.
  • Includes low to moderate consumption of dairy products, eggs, and poultry.
  • Limits intake of processed foods, particularly those containing hydrogenated or trans-fats, refined grains, and added sugars.
  • Olive oil is the primary source of healthy fats.

Managing Digestive Health

Digestive issues are common for many with PD. Adopting a Mediterranean diet, which is high in dietary fiber, can significantly aid in promoting regularity.

Improving Memory Function

Some studies suggest there may be a link between the Mediterranean diet and a decreased risk of dementia and other kinds of memory issues sometimes associated with PD.

Promoting Heart Health

According to The American Heart Association, the Mediterranean diet is associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.

eat more: Fruits & Vegetables Fish & Chicken Beans & Legumes Nuts & Seeds Water Antioxidant-Rich Foods Whole Grains
eat less: Beef & Pork Dairy Eggs Hydrogenated/Trans-Fat Refined Grains Sugary Drinks Alcohol

Shopping List

Antioxidant-Rich Foods

  • Beverages: Coffee, green tea
  • Dark Chocolate: At least 80% cacao content
  • Fruits: Apples, bananas, berries, cherries, grapes, melons, oranges, peaches, pears, pomegranates
  • Legumes: Black beans, cannellini beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, peas, pinto beans
  • Nuts & Seeds: almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, ground flax seeds, hydrated chia seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • Red Wine: One 5-ounce glass per day with physician’s approval
  • Soy: Edamame, soybeans, tofu
  • Vegetables: Artichokes, asparagus, beets, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, garlic, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onion, potatoes, spinach, squash

Digestive Health Foods

  • Dried Fruits: Apricots, dates, figs, prunes, raisins
  • Fresh Fruits: Apples, pears, plums
  • High-Fiber Foods: Berries, beans, bran, peas, whole grains
  • Probiotic Foods: Kefir, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, tempeh, yogurt
  • Prebiotic Foods: Artichokes, asparagus, bananas, garlic, onions, soybeans, whole grains

Always consult your physician or dietitian for advice regarding nutrition and Parkinson’s management.