Should we be as dependent as we are on prescription drugs, or are there alternative options we can select for care? If we add “pedals to the pills” can we cause positive biochemical changes in our brains as well as the overall improvement in our cardiovascular systems?
Some years ago doctors identified a correlation between “forced exercise” and motor benefits for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Before you conclude that “forced exercise” is some Medieval form of torture, please know that it is defined as “reaching and maintaining an aerobic exercise rate that is higher than the rate a patient would voluntarily achieve”. It can be accomplished through mechanical control, like a motorized exercise bike, or through a partner controlling speed, as in tandem bicycle riding.
The important detail is that the patient must contribute actively to the exercise and not just go through the motions passively. When this is done properly, patients with Parkinson’s disease can experience improvement in movement, cognition and ultimately their quality of life.
No different from many other diseases, traditional medical, surgical and pharmaceutical approaches to managing Parkinson’s disease are expensive and have a variety of side effects. Exercise, an option that skirts these considerations or reduces the dependence on these approaches, can be a welcome addition to a patient’s treatment regimen.
Various studies have shown that when healthy, but sedentary, older adults participated in aerobic exercise, the result was not only the expected improvements in general health, but also increased cerebral blood flow. Would this not benefit all of us as we fight off diseases of aging, many of which seem to revolve around the slowing of blood in the area of our brain?
So let’s lace up our walking shoes and attack those hills. Let’s stretch ourselves beyond our comfort zones for extended periods of time and go further and faster than we would normally. Even if we were never athletes in our youth it is now critical that we adopt the discipline and commitment that athletes have exercised all of their lives.
The difference is that we will not be competing for medals or trophies, our prize will be a healthier, less expensive life with many more options to do things as we age. We at CDA Inc. are applying the same regimen we are proposing, so call us at 770-449-7369 if you need encouragement. We’re here for you!