New research suggests that weight training, when compared to activities such as stretching and balance exercises, significantly improves the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease patients.
The study, authored by Daniel Corcos, PhD, with the University of Illinois at Chicago, assigned 48 individuals with Parkinson's disease into randomized groups to perform weight training (classified as progressive resistance exercise) or flexibility, balance, and strengthening exercises. The groups exercised for one hour, twice a week for two years. While both forms of exercise yielded reduced motor symptoms after six months, the long term weight training patients saw additional motor improvements while the stretching and balance group saw a return to their initial well-being at the start of the trial.
Over the past month we've seen mounting evidence of the benefits Parkinson's patients can gain from cycling, rowing, and ballroom dance. All forms of exercise can help alleviate Parkinson's symptoms, we suggest you find an activity that you enjoy and encourage a friend or family member to come along. For more information, check out our guide to exercise.