Comfortable, long walks may help treat Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease can often impair movement and make it more difficult to walk, but researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Baltimore VA Medical Center have discovered that low-intensity walking on a treadmill can help restore these abilities.

"Our study showed that low-intensity exercise performed for 50 minutes three times a week was the most beneficial in terms of helping participants improve their mobility...

Comfortable, long walks may help treat Parkinson's disease Exercise may, in fact, delay disability and help to preserve independence," said principal investigator Lisa Shulman.

The study followed 67 participants with Parkinson's disease who were assigned to one of three exercise groups. They worked out three times a week for three months.

She recommends that patients who want to improve their mobility may also want to add stretching and resistance training to their retirement living regimen. If seniors with Parkinson's are residing in assisted living facilities, there may be some classes that offer similar workouts.

Other research has previously emphasized the importance of resistance training techniques for independent living, because these exercises can reduce muscle deterioration in older adults.

"Resistance exercise is a great way to increase lean muscle tissue and strength capacity so that people can function more readily in daily life," said research fellow Mark Peterson.  

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