Until now, a daily regime of pole walking for 40 minutes a day has been my answer to medical professional advice that it is important to exercise if you have Parkinson’s disease.
Unfortunately, I ignored good advice when I decided to move to a new city. I stopped daily walks to allow more time for packing and downsizing for the move.
After the move, I extended my inactivity to adapt to the trauma of the move and to get used to the many flights of stairs attached to the new condo. At first, it didn’t seem to make much difference to my body that I had exchanged daily pole walking for unpacking.
There was no time to scout out a walking route, so I stored my walking poles in the storage bin to make more room until I was settled. Then I forgot about them.
In December, January, and February I ordered window coverings, furniture, and closet shelves for the new place, and learned to drive on unfamiliar freeways. In March, April, May, I argued about peace and quiet with a noisy neighbor, and I navigated public transportation.
June flew by before I admitted I was no longer in a settling phase. I was vegetating. All those months of lying down, watching the news from a lopsided perch on my couch and bed had left me virtually crippled, and unable to put weight on my leg.
My body was revolting by refusing to move. Compulsively, I rushed to try several new exercises in July. Pole walking, Dance for Parkinson’s, PWR!Moves, and aquatics classes are all excellent exercises for a person with Parkinson’s. Rushing activity doesn’t quick-fix a slacker’s poor fitness when she hasn’t exercised for nine months!
A knee and hip X-ray showed my joints were pristine without arthritis. The primary care physician suggested that I visit my movement disorder specialist (MDS), and get a bone density test.
As I wait for my doctor’s visit to discuss all Parkinson’s possibilities, my hope is that my sore joints are due to a lazy lack of exercise and not chronic deterioration of Parkinson’s.
My new motto is keep moving if you want to keep kicking, and don’t make excuses for dropping regular exercise. Playing catch up to the flexibility you once had isn’t fun!