a woman questioning if her childhood games count as lack of exercise

Lack of Regular Exercise

Last updated: March 2022

Last time in "Rogue Genes or Personal Responsibility?," we heard how exercise, although an essential component in the lives of her parents, was a bit of an effort for Posy. Here, we explore further the possible causative effects of a lack of regular exercise.

Childhood sports

From childhood until she gave birth, Posy was sparky, agile, and lively. With her slight frame, competitive spirit, natural grace, and determination to please, she tended to score highly or win.

Posy's dad loved sport above any other activity. He made sure his young daughters could catch a ball, shoot a goal, avoid hitting each other's faces in French cricket, spin a killer ping pong ball, and sink a golf putt.

He taught them how to strike the skittles, sink a billiards or snooker ball (with the cue behind one's back and without tearing the baize), ice skate gracefully without falling over, control a spirited horse, and to be passably good at most sociable sports.

An experiment

Consequently, Posy felt pretty confident in most new endeavors. She certainly never felt feeble. She could sprint when necessary. She was plucky, fairly adventurous and she could lift heavy objects, so she considered herself to be strong.

Using Posy’s sister as the "control" in this virtual experiment, it is perhaps odd that neither of the girls cared much for or excelled in team sports.

Yes, they both played tennis and could swim well enough. However, by the end of their schooldays, her sister's incredible brain preferred to win at cards, quizzes, and complex puzzles. Posy still loved to dance, and was fairly good at tennis.

Active in her early years

Thus we see that Posy's formative years encouraged her to be active. So, when and why did Parkinson's begin to creep in? Was it a rogue gene? Had a Parkinson's gene been waiting in the wings for generations to catch out a lazy member of the family?

Posy's sister developed other problems, but Posy is the only Parkie and that is the only illness we are considering here.

Does this difference in outcome support the theory that diet may be more of a factor in the onset of Parkinson's than exercise? After all, Posy's sister exercised much less as an adult than Posy, but her diet contained more protein.

She looked healthy

What might have happened had a clever doctor spotted a link between all the minor ailments which caused Posy to visit repeatedly from her 40s onwards?

Each individual issue (digestive problems, carpal tunnel, depression, migraine, trapped nerves, frozen shoulder etc.) was treated, but nobody put together all the symptoms into one big picture.

Posy just didn't "look unwell enough" to have a disease such as Parkinson's! Her high-adrenaline, slim figure, well-groomed appearance, and intelligent and pleasant chat never drove anyone to worry too much about her health (even though her energy level was depleting dreadfully.)

Unexpected disease

After all, Posy’s family were generally very healthy, and lived to ripe old ages. Posy had never tried an illegal substance, never smoked, and was not a big eater (apart from chocolate!)

Why on earth should there be a sinister reason for all these minor conditions? Even though Posy herself began to wonder, her actual medical notes state, "I reassured this young lady that she definitely does not present as having Parkinson's."

It would never have occurred to anyone that Posy would be struck down with a mobility disease such as Parkinson’s.

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