Much has been said about the amazing benefits of exercise for neurodegenerative conditions, not least Parkinson’s. Not as much gets said about the type of exercise that’s required to get the brain to make the positive adaptations that are required to manage PD.
I understand why the ‘gentle exercise’ message has been promoted, let’s not scare off the exercise newbie before he’s started right? But if it leads us to believe that gentle exercise is anywhere near enough to make the long-term adaptations needed to manage PD, we’re kidding ourselves.
I’m not for a minute suggesting that we shouldn’t take a stroll in the park for fun, or that we shouldn’t enjoy socialising with others while doing it, but I am suggesting that managing Parkinson’s with exercise requires a large dollop of old-fashioned hard work. And if you’re going to do it for the rest of your life, which is what it’s going to take, that hard work has to be fun and engaging.