The Ten Commandments of Resistance Exercise for People with Parkinson’s (PwP) The Second Commandment
Hello again friends, I hope you got something out of reading the first post in this series.
You will have noted that the first commandment involved 2 aspects of exercise that fit well together, and part 2 also has 2 aspects put together. Whether or not you agree with my viewpoint in these 2 posts, I would like to say that I respect and admire you all for fighting the good fight – persevering with exercise despite the fact that it gets harder and harder to keep going as the Parkinson’s years roll by.
Commandment number 2: Do the exercises you don’t like first! And don’t overdo your favourite exercises.
Go to any gym and what do you see? A mish-mash of training styles and quite often trainees concentrating on building nice big arms, chest, shoulders etc. You will see that many of these people hate what I refer to as ‘Hard work exercises.’ These exercises work on the back, hips and legs and because there is so much muscle in these bodyparts working them hard is very tough and exhausting. The way around that problem for many is to do them last in workouts when energy is low and they make a half-hearted effort or even skip it altogether. As one Mr. Olympia winner said years ago ‘ We call these people lightbulbs because they are all big, broad upper bodies tapering down to no legs!’
For Parkinson’s people like us it is even harder to do these tough exercises and I have often tried to wish them away myself. The only way to stick with it for me is to tell myself ‘Okay, I am going to do these hateful exercises FIRST and if I don’t I will not do anything.’ This is incentive enough to do these tough exercises and you can expect as a Parky person that you will feel drained and fit for nothing for a few minutes after exercise – lay down and relax for 10 minutes and you will recover and probably find (like me) that your ability to move is enhanced for the rest of the day.
Parkinson’s often involves contradictory symptoms and so does exercise – the opposite side of the coin here is we all have bodyparts that are either tough to build or respond very well. Naturally, it is a lot more fun to train parts that develop easily and many fall into the trap of doing lots more work on these parts, leading to a bigger imbalance in their physiques and less energy available to do the hard exercises we talked about above. So the discipline here is to hold back and be satisfied with less on your favourite exercises.
That’s all folks, see you next time with commandment number 3 and in the meantime I hope to hear from you with your own thoughts on the right and wrong ways to exercise.