Although physical activity may seem impossible for some people with Parkinson's, the new research reaffirms what many specialists already believe -- that exercise can have a long-term impact, improving gait and reducing risk of falls, in particular.
The review measured the combined outcomes of more than 100 studies conducted over the past 30 years on the effects of exercise on Parkinson's patients. It showed that physical activity has clear benefits, specifically for strength, mobility, flexibility and balance.
The new review's author, Martine Lauze is a kinesiologist (body movement expert) who works with Parkinson's patients privately and is a researcher at the University of Québec at Montréal.
Lauze thinks the key to working with Parkinson's patients is taking a progressive approach. Perhaps people can simply start walking around the house until they're ready to walk outside. She says it's important to find the right activity for each individual, though that activity may not be perfect forever.