Does exercise help? The findings of our research
We initiated a research project at a YMCA in Wisconsin to collect data on exercise outcomes. That project was published in the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy in 2012. It is entitled “Community-Based Exercise and Wellness Program for People with Parkinson Disease: Experiences from a 10-Month Trial,” written by Teresa Steffen, Cheryl Petersen and Leah Dvorak. Outcomes of the program were based on 10 month data collection. Demonstrated walking endurance had the largest improvement over time (11%), tested by the six-minute walk test. The second outcome was that mentation, behavior and mood scores on the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale improved by 38%.
Exercise enhanced neuroplasticity
This article reviews "exercise-enhanced neuroplasticity". Looking at figure 3 and you will see that aerobic exercise and goal-based exercise are required. Dr. Beth Fisher suggested in an early study that clients be at 75% Max Heart Rate. Using the simple equation of 220-age (say 70) =150 working at 75% would be about 112 HR . Are you exercising at this rate? Develop a challenging program for yourself with goal-based practice for the acquisition of a skill (dance, piano, golf or tai chi).