Kick boxer punches threw bubble with couch inside.

I Exercised Yesterday

Almost all who exercise regularly, and those who should but don't, have a collection of excuses for why they can't make it that day. How am I so sure of this? Because I have used many myself. 

We all have our weak moments. I do my exercise program every morning, then get on with my day. Occasionally, for one reason or another, I decide to do the program later in the day. Usually, the workout doesn't happen, and I have any number of excuses why it didn't.

The good news: this doesn't happen very often. Why? Because I believe the physical and cognitive challenges of my exercise have slowed the progression.  At age 78, and diagnosed almost seven years ago, more than one Movement Disorder Specialist told me the fitness training has helped.

Exercise is in our control

There is mounting evidence that vigorous exercise slows the progress of Parkinson's and thus slows the decline of the quality of one's life. Our fitness training is one of the few things that we can control while dealing with Parkinson's. Even if the workouts do not slow the progression of the Parkinson's, it is still good for one's overall health and well-being

Most Movement Disorder Specialists are recommending that the newly diagnosed start an exercise program immediately. But are we taking them seriously?

"I exercised yesterday" and other excuses

There are many reasons given for not following the doctor's advice.

"I don't have time." Translation, exercise is not a priority.

"I can't physically keep up." There is no keeping up. Just work to your potential.

"I never have boxed before." Neither had any of us. We were all new at one time.

"I'm buying a new car." What are your priorities?

"I can't afford the class." Of course, this is a legitimate reason, but there are ways to mitigate even that. There are many free classes. Also, organizations like the Parkinson's Wellness Fund will help pay for exercise programs.

Get off the couch!

There is always a reason not to exercise, but for us, in the Parkinson's tribe, we have to treat our exercise program like we do our meds. Both meds and an exercise program are imperative.

Dealing with Parkinson's and exercise is complicated, but exercise is just like the meds we take daily. Every single day one must do an exercise program. If you have been working out before your diagnosis, one is more comfortable. But we have all of the usual excuses.

When exercising has not been a part of your life before diagnosis, it is tough to start and maintain a program. Try to learn why each exercise is essential and focus on the exercise itself. Some find that by making the exercise itself the focal point and not thinking about the result, positive things can happen. Just maintaining is positive for us.

Also, most of us are not in the Parkinson's morass alone. We owe it to our caregivers or potential caregivers to slow the progress as much we can. It is only right that we hold off the inevitable as long as possible.

Of course, we all are not able to do vigorous exercise, but we can all work up to our potential, whatever that is. We must do what is necessary to take control of our future.


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