High-intensity exercise three times a week is safe for individuals with early-stage Parkinson’s disease and decreases worsening of motor symptoms, according to a new phase 2, multi-site trial led by University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Northwestern Medicine scientists.
This is the first time scientists have tested the effects of high-intensity exercise on patients with Parkinson’s disease, the second most common neurodegenerative disorder and the most common movement disorder affecting more than 1 million people in the United States.
“If you have Parkinson’s disease and you want to delay the progression of your symptoms, just a stroll isn’t sufficient. You should exercise three times a week with your heart rate between 80 to 85 percent maximum. It is that simple,” said lead author Margaret Schenkman, Associate Dean for Physical Therapy Education and PT Program Director at the CU School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus.