PARKINSONS & EXERCISE
FARMING – EXERCISE & PARKINSONS’
Living on the farm, having cattle and plenty of grain fields have always provided us with lots of exercise. And then we began to have health challenges . . . & now it is Parkinson’s for Melvin!
Living on our farm also involves pesticides & chemicals, as I mentioned last blog, and these are not good for anyone. If we had realized the diseases that can invade our bodies through these toxins, Melvin would have been much more careful when handling them or better yet, maybe not used them at all.
At first we had no idea how we could fight back. I had a few ideas on making life style changes to stop the progression of this disease; food being my first plan. As Hippocrates once said, “Let thy food be thy medicine, they medicine be thy food.” I believe that and believe that the nutrition in the foods that we eat has the biggest result on how healthy we can be.
After googling, reading and now attending the Parkinson’s conference I realize there is so much we can do to help with standing, walking, smiling and enjoying a better quality life even with Parkinsons. Exercise is one of the most important things we can do for these movements. For the greatest improvement, the exercise needs to come with a healthy diet.
When we visited the booths at the conference a few months ago, they showed Melvin how to stretch the arm as a boxer would. In fact there are boxing clubs starting all over where a trained boxer works with people who have Parkinsons. As well they showed us how to walk “heel to toe” for better walking that keeps one from racing or falling.
MUSICAL EXERCISE & TI-CHI
The conference started with all of us moving to a musical song led by 6 Parkinson’s patients. They were smiling and enjoying the steps, so of course we did the steps, relaxed and enjoyed them too. A lady then led us in some Ti-Chi moves to get our bodies moving even more.
Another kind of exercise is laughing. We laughed to music for a half hour. Laughter calms one down, relieves tension and soon our outer and inner bodies feel at peace.
Our kids bought us a bike when Melvin was diagnosed. It has a large seat and has handles for the arms to move straight out forward and back. This reminded me of the punching move that was demonstrated at the boxing booth.This indoor bike has been a God-send especially through the winter months when it was cold, icy & stormy because we can exercise indoors. After Melvin had knee replacement, he did very well with his range of motion by exercising on the bike.
We are still involved in farming so in spring, summer and fall he gets lots of exercise as he helps with the seeding, harvesting and then preparing the land for winter. He is out there everyday now finding things to do on the yard; but the half hour on the bike is still his first exercise each and everyday.
Once in a while Melvin goes for a massage, but each week I do reflexology by massaging his hands, feet and legs. On those nights after massage he sleeps very well so he gets more rest. He does find that he needs to take a rest once or twice during the day as well.
Melvin is still not taking any medication for Parkinson’s, but we take some whole food supplements daily and when we are at home we eat a very nutritious diet.
I will share more of the foods & recipes we enjoy regularly in a blog as well. Winnie