Sunday, May 15, 2011

Have I nagged you to exercise lately?

I have a game I like to play whenever I meet a neurologist. I always ask "What is the one thing you wish you could get patients with PD to do?" So far, they always answer "Exercise".

Sorry. I know you were hoping the answer was "Spend more time sorting socks" or "Work on completing your string collection" or even "Write essays about the sleep habits of the spiny anteater". Anything but exercise. Unfortunately none of these things have been shown to help those of us with Parkinson's Disease when studied under rigorous lab conditions.

Exercise is a different story. You don't believe me? Well check here, here, here, here, here, or here. You're convinced now, right? Good, don't forget to consult a doctor before you start.

But do start. Imagine the power in your grasp here. You can improve your ability to move. You can improve your clarity of thought. It's even strongly possible that you can modify the once inexorable path of PD progression. And most important, if enough of us will take up exercise and faithfully stick to it, doctors will have to come up with a different answer to my question.


Steve said...

So peter how about you post your exercise log for the last couple of weeks? Maybe others with varying capacities and preferences can add theirs in the comments.

Do you still bike? If so, let 's ride!

Peter Dunlap-Shohl said...

Hi Steve, don't keep an exercise log, but I do have an app for my phone that keeps track of my cycling time and distance. That is, if I remember to set it before a trip. According to the gizmo, I did 819 miles on various bikes last year.So far this year I have 129 miles. I generally alternate a day of hard biking with a day of mostly stretching and balancing.
I'd love to hear from other PWP about their routines. Anyone?... Anyone?...

And yes, let's ride. Maybe the coastal trail next week?

ECleary78 said...

My husband and I both practice yoga 3-4 times a week, usually 90 minute classes and a blend of hot bikram yoga some days and power yoga other days. He also walks and he been looking into tai chi. We both want to start cycling but Dallas has NO bike trails so we're fighting the inertia of starting anew hobby that we know nothing about... will keep you posted. Just to follow up on the dopamine agonist, David started Mirapex 3 weeks ago and is steady at 1.5mg extended release one time a day. the first three days of every new level he had terrible nausea but things are better now. the drug definetly helps but I think we both thought it would (to be quite honest) bring him close to normal for at least some part of the day and the rigidity and slowness is still there. don't know if we're just being stubborn and need to accept the PD more or if we should go up to 3mg....

Steve said...

You're on.

Peter Dunlap-Shohl said...

At some point medication becomes a philosophical question as well as a medical one. For what it's worth, my philosophy is to shoot for all the relief I can get right now. This is driven by two beliefs. First that tomorrow is not promised to anyone, so carpe diem, baby. Second, if I do see tomorrow, I'll be in better position to enjoy it if I haven't spent much time yesterday fighting through the hampering symptoms of Parkinson's Disease. My ideal is the maximum amount of symptomatic relief with a minimum but adequate amount of medication. This means that along with the meds, you need to exercise and reduce stress, eat right etc,

I know and respect plenty of people who disagree with this point of view. This is a question to hash out between you, your husband and your doctor.

One thing to consider is that Requip, another dopamine agonist, I believe, comes in more incremental doses than Mirapex, allowing finer tuning of the dosages. I didn't get any relief from Requip until I got up to 9mg a day, at which point it became quite helpful.

Your exercise routine sounds exhausting! Thanks for sharing it.

Keep us posted,


Peter Dunlap-Shohl said...

Steve, I'm wide open the 23-27 of May. What day? (In the interest of not wasting the time of others, let's take this to email,)