In this ongoing series, people living with Parkinsonís share their passion and how this activity is improving their outlook. ††
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Whatís your passion?
Recently diagnosed with PD, now itís exercise. I do Pilates several times a week at a studio and at home. When the weather is good, I bike, kayak and walk as much as I can. I have a training bike set up inside, which I used frequently while preparing for New Yorkís Five Boro Bike Tour last May.†
How does it help you?
Itís easier for me to maintain constant motion, so biking suits me well. And I feel like itís challenging my brain to make new connections. Stretching and building my core strength through Pilates keep me limber.
Is this a new pursuit for you?
Now that Iím retired, I focus more on maintaining a regular exercise routine ó which became a higher priority after my diagnosis. But Iíve always enjoyed cycling and had done several tours through Europe after university. When training for the Five Boro, I have to be more careful about fatigue and pacing myself.
What else helps?
Once a month, I go for a massage, which relieves muscle strain. Iíve also found acupuncture† beneficial, although it doesnít stop the shaking. I try to avoid stress ó being retired makes that easier.
How do you think/able?
I try not to think too much about what may happen in the future ó itís better to focus on the here and now. Create a balanced life ó for me, thatís exercising regularly, maintaining a good diet and staying rested. And, of course, taking my pills on time. Along the way, youíll find various tricks that help you manage, whether itís cruise control while driving or the anti-shake feature on a camera.