I have a client with a form of Parkinson’s Disease. He wants to lose weight and have more energy. Can you please give me some information on this issue? Thank you.
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurologic disease that is largely seen in the elderly population. This syndrome is linked to lack of motor control, balance, tremors and sometimes episodes of seizures.
I was surprised to see little information printed on the effects of resistance training and cardiovascular exercise on the Parkinson’s Disease population. But the information provided mainly from Europe did show conclusive evidence that resistance exercise improve strength, stride length, walking velocity, posture and spinal flexibility. These improvements were near those results obtained by normal elderly subjects. Some long-term changes were also observed in one study when the Parkinson’s group was tested six weeks following the program’s cessation.
In terms of cardiovascular fitness, the research was very limited. However, in one study measuring vo2 max found that the group with Parkinson’s Disease had a lower vo2 max than the control group. Thus, the PD population may fatigue earlier with exercise. This is why it is so important to design an exercise program that will improve their balance, posture, walking ability and living skill efficiency.
As for losing weight and gaining more energy, this sounds like a question best answered by the study of thermodynamics. This basically states that if caloric intake (food) is higher than caloric output (exercise) then the excess amount of calories can be stored in the body, often as body fat. To lose body fat, burn more calories through mild to moderate exercise than is consumed. More a more personalized approach, seek a nutrition specialist in your area that can monitor eating habits, trends, and tendencies in regards to food intake. They will be able to provide a complimentary nutritional program to your exercise regimen.
Many local outpatient hospitals and occupational therapists would be happy to network with you and provide specific answers to your questions. These medical programs can be an incredible resource!
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