While these may not look like the exercises that you expected, they are the basics for people with Parkinson's and other neuro-motor diseases. We cover walking, turning, balancing, sitting, rising, arm swinging, daily tasks and yawning.
1. Toes up. No, I'm not asking you to be a leprechaun but just to remember that when you are taking a walking step: the motion is heel to toe. You rock forward. Your foot does the heel-toe roll.
Try it slowly with the weight shift to the off leg, putting your heel on the floor and then rocking forward to your toe, weight shift and ready to repeat with the other foot.
As you do take that heel and toe roll, you will feel your calf and ankle muscles stretch. That stretch will get you out of trouble when your calves cramp as they do in PD. Just heel and toe to work it out. This will also work for the "freeze" if you just put your heel down and your toe up. You will be able to work it through because you have practiced, practiced, practiced.
When you hear that foot drag, you are probably walking toe to heel... to trip.
The problem with wearing high heels is that your legs and feet are always in that toe-heel position and you can feel the pain in your calf muscles. As a general rule high heels and PD don't mix.
2. Broader wheel base to prevent tipover If you hear your pant legs brushing together with evey step you take, your legs are too close together. The optimal distance for your legs to be apart is about 10 inches. This will aid your balance and prevent falling.
3. Long Strides for walking - Short steps for turning. Practice by walking several strides and then turning and walking back. Repeat. A few times a day for a total of at least 15 minutes. You will notice that the shorter steps - with feet still spread apart - will get you through the turn without the danger of tripping over a leg crossed in front. Those short turning steps will help you balance.
You are not a morotcycle, don't lean into the turn. Don't lead with your shoulders. Balance will come from good counterbalance.
4. Many PD patients are leery of tight spaces because of balance issues. Try walking into, through and out of those tight corners of a room. You are teaching yourself to overcome the fear - not to panic.
6. Get out into and of that chair. Easier said than done. So do it as rapidly as possible. Quit fighting with gravity. Sit Down slowly. Your body will be bent forward and your butt will touch the seat. Knowing where the seat is can be aided by "feeling" it with the back of your knee. (A stage sit) 5. Back to balance. You will be in public situations where there will be no wall or hand rail to support or catch you if you fall. You need to practice walking rapidly, stepping heel first with toe up, legs spread apart. Turn left, turn right, turn around. Don't hug the wall. Do the expectant father pace several times a day. Each time you stride try to lift you leg higher as if marching. That stretching is important with a disease that tightens your muscles.
|Reach for the chair|
Don't yawn alone. If possible get someone to yawn along with you. It is contagious so beginning with a fake yawn will usually result in real and productive yawns.
Thumb and indexfinger
Roll to index and middle fingers
Then roll to middle and ring finger
The ring and pinkie are the hardest
Although you feel as if you should be squeezing the ball, stretching is better for PD