In the journals
Three different kinds of exercise improved walking speed in people with Parkinson’s disease, according to a study in Archives of Neurology. The finding adds to the growing evidence that physical exercise improves daily function in people with Parkinson’s, a progressive disease that destroys brain cells that help control motion.
The study assigned 67 participants to one of three exercise regimens, which they performed three times a week for three months:
50 minutes of low-intensity treadmill exercise
50 minutes of stretching and resistance training
30 minutes of higher-intensity treadmill work.
Participants in all three groups improved their speed on a six-minute walking test, with the greatest gains obtained from low-intensity treadmill exercise. Stretching and resistance training improved muscle strength the most, and treadmill exercise improved cardiovascular fitness.
Although physical exercise has not yet been shown to slow the progression of Parkinson’s, it appears to improve overall functioning for people who have the illness.