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Parkinson's Disease and Exercise - Topic Overview

Exercise is an important part of home treatment for people with Parkinson's disease. It has benefits in both early and advanced stages of the disease. Regular exercise can help you:

  • Maintain muscle strength and improve coordination.
  • Maintain and increase endurance.
  • Improve flexibility and range of motion.
  • Improve cardiovascular fitness.
  • Control weight.
  • Reduce the likelihood of becoming constipated.

Exercise also can promote a sense of well-being and improve your mood.

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Understanding Parkinson's Disease -- Symptoms

Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder that progresses slowly. Some people will first notice a sense of weakness, difficulty walking, and stiff muscles. Others may notice a tremor of the head or hands. Parkinson's is a progressive disorder and the symptoms gradually worsen. The general symptoms of Parkinson's disease include: Slowness of voluntary movements, especially in the initiation of such movements as walking or rolling over in bed Decreased facial expression, monotonous sp...

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A physical therapist can help you learn exercises and stretches to do at home to improve posture, strength, flexibility, and endurance.

A physical or occupational therapist can also help you to:

  • Plan more efficient movements for daily living activities (such as bathing and dressing) so that these activities are easier and less tiring.
  • Improve balance and walking.
  • Use walking aids (such as canes or walkers) correctly.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 05, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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