Feel Better with Parkinson’s by Exercising!
Your struggle is a tough one. Every day, you deal with the constant shaking, and you can’t stand it. It keeps you from doing the things you love, and keeps your loved ones from showering you with more attention out of sympathy than simple affection.
But there is a way you can help quell some of your symptoms, and it’s not another experimental drug or case study. It’s actually an oldie-but-goodie: exercise.
That’s right: according to a number of different studies conducted by many different researchers and published in several different journals, one of the surest ways to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is exercise.
It’s one of the most fun ways, too. Getting out of the house every now and again, getting to see old friends or meet new ones and dive into a new challenge – can’t beat that!
How Does Exercise Help?
Your illness has several different layers, too many to pin down one or two simple causes. But the net results are far simpler: it reduces your body’s supply of dopamine.
Dopamine is a super important chemical. It’s a neurotransmitter, which means that it exists between nerve endings and helps bridge the gap from one nerve to another, making the network of nerves that is your nervous system. Because of dopamine, your body is able to send the ever-important electrical signals that, basically, let your body do everything that it needs to.
But when dopamine is in short supply, as is the case with Parkinson’s, things tend to go haywire. This has a significant effect on cognition, and may be one of the reasons why it’s hard for you to focus on things in the moment and remember them after. But it also manifests physically, in the form of some of the shaking you’re experiencing.
This is why exercise is great for people with Parkinson’s. When you exercise, your brain is encouraged to release more dopamine into your bloodstream, because it thinks you need to be calmed down from your workout. This, though, helps keep your body’s baseline level of dopamine high, and with each successive workout, your body’s baseline dopamine level will rise. Obviously, it has its limits, but you get the point.
So, exercising might be one of the greatest things people with Parkinson’s can do.
Exercise Has Other Benefits
Exercise, though, also has other benefits for people with Parkinson’s, namely, with their mood.
Mood is so important to most everything we do in life. Our attitude can not only help us get through the day, but there are actually several scientific studies that point to your outlook drastically affecting the results of certain challenges that you may face.
For people with Parkinson’s, mood can be a significant factor. Oftentimes, the problem with mood is that it creates a self-perpetuating wheel. You have issues with shaking, which makes you feel sad. But that you feel sad actually exacerbates the problem that makes you shake, which makes you shake more.
This, of course, is all chemically linked. Your body’s supply of neurotransmitters, including dopamine as well as serotonin and others, is absolutely vital in your body’s ability to function the way that you want it to, to diminish the symptoms of Parkinson’s. But feeling upset actually lowers your body’s supply of neurotransmitters, thus making you more susceptible to the symptoms that caused the problem in the first place.
Similarly, enhancing your mood can also be contagious. Exhibit fewer symptoms because you’re exercising, and you’re likely to feel better about your day. Feel better about your day, and you’re likely to feel better about the next day.
What’s there not to like about that?
Valerie Johnston is a health writer located in Lake Fork, Texas. She is passionate about running and clean eating and writing for Healthline.com ensures she stays up-to-date on the latest trends and news in the health and fitness industry.
… Thanks Valerie and Healthline.com for the post and a great reminder to get active! much love.
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