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Exercising improves walking speed for people with Parkinson's

In the journals

Three different kinds of exercise improved walking speed in people with Parkinson's disease, according to a study in Archives of Neurology. The finding adds to the growing evidence that physical exercise improves daily function in people with Parkinson's, a progressive disease that destroys brain cells that help control motion.

The study assigned 67 participants to one of three exercise regimens, which they performed three times a week for three months:

  • 50 minutes of low-intensity treadmill exercise

  • 50 minutes of stretching and resistance training

  • 30 minutes of higher-intensity treadmill work.

Participants in all three groups improved their speed on a six-minute walking test, with the greatest gains obtained from low-intensity treadmill exercise. Stretching and resistance training improved muscle strength the most, and treadmill exercise improved cardiovascular fitness.

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