7 Safe Exercises for Seniors with Parkinson’s

By , 9:00 am on

Exercising can be difficult for seniors with Parkinson’s, but it’s important they make the effort to stay mobile and active, as engaging in physical activity has a number of neuroprotective benefits. It helps them stay agile and maintain their balance, and it may alleviate some symptoms. Here are seven exercises that are safe for seniors with Parkinson’s.

1. Treadmill Training

Walking is a great way for seniors with Parkinson’s to exercise. Seniors who are sufficiently mobile may want to take a scenic walk in the park. Treadmill training is ideal for seniors who have difficulty with balance because they can clutch the rail while enjoying their exercise. Treadmill training can increase grip strength, gait, and overall coordination. 

Mobility challenges caused by Parkinson’s make exercising difficult. Aging adults who need assistance with exercise and help around the house can benefit from having an in-home caregiver. West Hartford home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

2. Water Aerobics

Aerobic exercise offers many benefits for seniors with Parkinson’s. When aging adults exercise hard enough to get the blood pumping, it boosts the brain’s ability to use dopamine efficiently, which increases overall neural function and prevents damage. While traditional aerobics classes might be too strenuous for seniors with Parkinson’s, water aerobics is easier on the joints while providing similar levels of intensity. 

3. Yoga

For seniors with Parkinson’s, maintaining balance isn’t easy. They can work on their posture and balance by practicing yoga. There are many classes specifically designed for seniors. The exercises performed in these classes put less stress on the body while promoting flexibility, balance, and overall health. Chair yoga is always an option for seniors with mobility concerns. 

4. Weight Training

For seniors with Parkinson’s, a healthy exercise routine should include flexibility exercises, aerobic activity, and resistance training. Weight training for seniors doesn’t have to involve complicated weight machines. Seniors can work on their grip by clutching one-pound weights, or they can increase their leg strength by doing knee extensions. By increasing muscle tone, seniors boost balance and mobility levels. 

5. Tai Chi

Tai chi, a Chinese form of martial arts, is a popular exercise option for people with Parkinson’s. It consists of slow, low-impact movements, many of which can be performed by seniors. Tai chi increases balance and physical fitness, which makes it a great exercise for seniors with Parkinson’s. There are plenty of exercise DVDs and books that explain the art of tai chi. Seniors can also look for a tai chi class at the local senior center or gym. 

6. Dance

Dance is another recommended form of exercise for seniors with Parkinson’s. It can stretch the muscles, increase flexibility, boost muscle tone, and enhance balance. Many dance classes are good sources of cardiovascular exercise, which can boost brain functionality and halt Parkinson’s-related neurological symptoms. 

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. West Hartford seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

7. Stationary Biking

When seniors are feeling off balance but ready to work out, they can get on a stationary bike. Bikes provide resistance training and cardiovascular exercise, making them great for people with Parkinson’s. They also strengthen the lower half of the body, giving seniors the strength they need to walk.

When older adults develop Parkinson’s, their families are not always able to provide the care they need. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. West Hartford, Connecticut, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. If your elderly loved one needs assistance managing daily activities or symptoms of a disease, call us at (860) 372.4500 today.