A recent study in the journal Neurology says yes! Researchers from the University of Iowa found that energetic walks could help Parkinson’s disease patients with their symptoms. The study included 60 participants who were asked to take part in moderate intensity walking sessions. The sessions occurred three times a week over six months, and each walk lasted 45 minutes. When analyzing the impact of these brisk walks on the physical and mental states of the participants, researchers found improvements across the board.
These walks improved motor function and mood by 15% and boosted attention and response scores by 14%. In addition, fitness and gait speed rose 7%, while fatigue declined 11%.
Parkinson’s disease is a motor system disorder. It is estimated that approximately one million people in the United States suffer from Parkinson’s disease. The main symptoms are stiffness of the arms, legs, and trunk, slowed movement, impaired posture and balance, and trembling.
Source: Bohnen N, Frey K, Studenski S, et al. Gait speed in Parkinson disease correlates with cholinergic degeneration. Neurology, 2013; 81 (18): 1611-1616.