Lifestyle Changes for Parkinsons Sufferers

Physical therapy and lifestyle changes should be looked on as the front-line defense against Parkinson’s. When physical therapy and lifestyle changes are not enough to combat or reduce the effects of Parkinson’s, your doctor will likely recommend certain medications, either alone or in combination. Eventually, as the disease progresses, a surgical procedure may be required.

Healthy Eating

A healthy diet and regular exercise are beneficial treatments for many health issues, and Parkinsons is no exception to this rule. If you are suffering from Parkinsons, ensure that you eat a healthy diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, and whole grains. These foods contain natural anti-oxidants that help protect against free radical damage. They are also high in fiber, which is important for helping prevent constipation.

If you take a fiber supplement, such as psyllium powder, Metamucil or Citrucel, be sure to introduce it gradually and drink plenty of fluids daily. Otherwise, your constipation actually may become worse. If you find that fiber helps your symptoms, use it on a regular basis for the best results.

Exercise

Regular exercise is extremely important for people with Parkinson’s Disease, because it provides a number of important benefits, including improved mobility, balance, range of motion, and emotional well-being.
Your doctor or physical therapist may recommend a formal exercise program, but any physical activity, including walking, swimming or gardening, is beneficial. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging and dancing, are also beneficial.

Keep in mind that your energy level may go up and down as a result of your medications, so you should pace yourself and select the best times for exercise. For example, if you are tired, try doing one part of your exercise routine at one time of day and doing another routine later in the day. Select times to exercise when your medicines are working well and you feel strong.

Be sure to warm up and stretch before and after you exercise, as this will help prevent stiffness while also improving your flexibility and balance.

Parkinson’s Disease can disturb your sense of balance and physical co-ordination, making it difficult to walk and move normally. Be careful to keep within your limits and avoid falls.

Sleep

The brain rebuilds its dopamine levels overnight, so a good night’s sleep is beneficial for Parkinson’s sufferers. Most people with Parkinson’s feel that they have good mornings and tend to deteriorate throughout the day. Most people also find that a good night’s sleep leads to day with less pronounced symptoms of Parkinson’s.

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