I am sure you have heard the phrase “food is medicine” and this is very true as nutrition is an important healthy habit when developing an effective routine. However, another aspect of your daily habits that can be as good for you as medicine is a physical activity routine. Exercise is good for you physically, mentally and emotionally and should be fun and fulfilling. Nutrition, sleep and a daily exercise routine can all be foundational to a healthy life.
People often think of the value of exercise being exclusively weight loss but actually, exercise can be extremely beneficial to many of your bodily systems. Exercise has been proven to benefit your cardiovascular health and keep your organs healthy – including your lungs and muscles. Exercise can also help benefit seniors who suffer from medical conditions and other physical and mental disabilities. Exercise also has the ability to be neuroprotective which is the process of slowing the progression of Parkinson’s in the brain.
We know that exercise can directly affect our mental and physical health in a positive way. And this translates to not only you feeling better emotionally and spiritually but also in terms of lessening the symptoms of your Parkinson’s. People who exercise often have strengthened cognitive abilities and less stress which helps keep your mind clear and anxiety free. Exercise can also positively impact your sleep, your mental health and even your digestive tract often helping with symptoms such as constipation.
Consistently is Key
Being a senior with Parkinson’s can mean that your exercise routine may look different according to your specific needs. Your doctor may be able to help you develop an exercise program that fits your lifestyle. However, any exercise is good exercise. It can be taking a walk around the block or doing some gentle yoga with a family member. All exercises can help you reap the benefits.
Exercise as Play
As we get older and become seniors it could be more difficult for us to consider exercise as play however that is something that comes very naturally to young children. Children naturally enjoy exercising because they use it to play. They play tag or explore nature or ride their bike. As we become adults and even seniors it can be important for us to find the fun and the joy in exercise. Consider what you enjoy doing physically and integrate that naturally into your routine. If you enjoy yoga or hiking or tai chi or swimming, try and find a friend or family member to do it with you in order to ensure safety and build it into your weekly schedule. Exercise should not feel like a chore or duty it should be fun and engaging.
No Time like the Present
The best time to start exercising is right away. Even simple exercise like walking can really benefit your daily routine. For intensive exercises such as strength training, cardio or weight training you may want to consult your doctor to ensure that you are in enough physical wellness that you will not injure yourself. However, easy exercise like stretching, yoga, and outdoor walks are perfect for beginners and very accessible for someone with Parkinson’s.
It can be difficult and daunting to begin an exercise routine however the best time to start really is now. Start today and see the slow progressive benefits to your physical and mental wellness.