Taking my post on procastination and baby steps to heart, I decided to try for two minutes, as a starting point, working on a skill I perceive I have lost. Skipping. Holding onto a shoulder high bar, for support, I simply attempted to hop, alternating… one foot at a time. At first, neither foot would leave the floor. But after numerous attempts, I could tell my left foot was lifting slightly from the floor. My right leg drags more when I walk, so it was no surprise that it was even slower to respond, but by the end of my two minutes, I thought I felt a little separation. Goal for today … three minutes. I saw a minut improvement. 🙂
Parkinson’s is unique … as symptoms seem to fluctuate greatly with the level of attentiveness you’re giving to the task at hand. Therefore, your exercise program needs to incorporate activities that make you multitask and challenge your mind and body at the same time. There are a variety of ways to do this. Playing games with a variety of rules, layers, tasks and challenges is a great place to start. Also incorporating exercises that are new to you where you have to concentrate fully on learning the form and execution is wonderful when it comes to strengthening mind-body connection .
What follows is from Sarah from Invigorate:
|Element # 3: MENTALLY Challenging |
Multitasking can become a real challenge for the Parkinson’s brain which is why it’s crucial to practice it on a regular basis (well before you need to use it!).
This can be most easily done by adding some mental challenges on top of exercise you’re already doing.
Whether it’s walking, swimming, doing your PWR!Moves or LSVT exercises, simply add a few of the challenges below:
Counting backwards by 6s
Naming objects in your environment
Listing items in the category (ie. authors, states, vegetables, NFL teams, etc.)
Toss and catch a small tennis ball or juggling scarves like bees…what other ideas can you think of?
*Key: Aimed to maintain your pace and form– the tendency is to slow down!
Does your current program challenge you? Could it challenge you more?
Remember: Embrace the change that the challenge brings!