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The Importance of Exercise & Diet for People with Parkinson's

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Exercise and diet are two crucial components of a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet provides the necessary nutrients for the body to function, while exercise helps maintain physical fitness and overall well-being. People with Parkinson's disease (PD) can have a range of physical and cognitive symptoms that can effect their daily life. While there is no cure for Parkinson's disease, regular exercise and a healthy diet are just some of the ways that people can manage their symptoms and maintain their quality of life.

A photo of salad

Photo by Bronwyn Bridges

Exercise is vital for people with PD because it helps improve mobility, balance, and overall physical health. Regular exercise can also help to reduce symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, and bradykinesia (slowness of movement). Exercise can take many forms, including walking, swimming, cycling, yoga, and strength training. It is important to find an exercise routine that works for your individual needs and abilities.

Diet is also crucial for people with Parkinson's disease. A healthy diet is important for managing PD. Eating a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help reduce inflammation and provide the body with essential nutrients. Some research suggests that a Mediterranean-style diet, which is high in healthy fats such as olive oil, may be particularly beneficial for people with Parkinson's.

The study took past research related to how the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet had been linked to the prevention of Alzheimer's disease and thought a similar result could be possible when looking at it for Parkinson's disease. The study showed that there is a similar correlation when looking at Parkinson's and that the MIND and Mediterranean diets helped delay particular PD symptoms

Overall, exercise and diet are two important tools that people with Parkinson's disease have in managing their symptoms and improving their quality of life. If you or someone you know has Parkinson's disease, talk to a healthcare provider about developing an exercise and diet plan that is right for you.


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