Over the last few days three Parkinson’s related things have happened – one really has to stay on your toes to keep up!
Firstly there is Duolingo, a free app that allows you to learn languages. I have been using the app on my various smartphones for years. I have studied several languages but lately I have been learning Spanish and Dutch. It has been an important part of my daily routine. Looking forward to something interesting has a positive effect on your mood and Duolingo did that for me. Here are some of the benefits I read in a recent article
- Prevents Alzheimer’s
- Social Exercise
- Expands Perspective
- Increases Creativity
- Improves Memory skills
- Slows Brain Aging
- Alleviates Stress
- Faster Stroke Recovery
- Improves Critical Thinking
I can say anecdotally that has been true for me.
Unfortunately Duolingo has changed a lot in recent times, as they feel the pressure to be more financially viable to the point where I have to discontinue using it every day for more than three years. But I will have more on it later.
A lot of research has been done on the benefits of exercising to Parkinson’s. Two benefits that caught my attention in particular are: 1) It slows the progression of the disease, and 2) it relieves neuropathy pain.
But what type of exercise is best. Several research papers have been published over the last few months. There are several but cycling is regarded highly. What seems to be more important to achieve the positive health effects is not so much the type but how much. You must exercise at least 30 minutes a day at a pace that makes your heartrate go up by 30 percent. I have no way of measuring that like you can on a treadmill or stationary bike. So I take it that I must breathe heavily. So I have been walking the hallways at a fair lick. With the weather I am stuck to stay indoors, I try to varying which floors I walk on, how often and which direction.
Has it helped? I will have to maintain it for longer, I am still here so maybe the progression has slowed. I would say my endurance has improved and it has a strange effect on pain perception. Before starting it is sharp, jarring almost like the noise of the fire alarm the other day. By the end of the session the pain has become more rounded, more smoothed out.
The Davis Phinney Foundation hosts regular monthly events called THE VICTORY SUMMIT® VIRTUAL EVENT. In November the topic was Exercise!
The videos of the various talks became available online today.