Move It Or Lose It: Exercise Is Essential for PD 

January 20, 2013
 
We all know that exercise is essential for one’s health. However, for individuals with Parkinson’s exercise is especially important! A study by Speelman et al. (2011) found that regular exercise: improved cognitive function, arrested the progression of osteoporosis, reduced the risk of cardiovascular events, helped prevent depression, decreased fatigue, improved sleep, decreased constipation, and improved motor performance (posture, balance and gait). How many of these issues are you struggling with? The study also showed that exercise improved levodopa efficacy and optimized dopaminergic signaling, meaning increased levels of dopamine in your brain.
 
Knowing about all the benefits exercise can have on your body, mind, and Parkinson’s disease progression is one thing, but getting out there and doing some exercise is a whole other story. Our winter and “spring” seasons are riddled with chilly winds, snowstorms, and a common nemesis to all, ice. Going for walks outdoors in the winter is generally the last on the list of fun things to do in -30C weather. One idea that might be beneficial for you and your family/friends would be to try mall walking at your nearest shopping centre. Mall walking programs deliver just what the name says; the mall opens it’s doors early, and while the shops are still closed, the public areas are available for people to safely take a stroll. Some of the coffee shops in the mall even open early so you can sip on a hot drink, window-shop, and spend time chatting with others all while gaining the multitudes of good effects exercise has on a person.

Parkinson Alberta Medicine Hat Office offers a Walking Program – Soles of Hope, every Tuesday from January through May at 11:00am, walkers meet at the Medicine Hat Mall Food Court (near Thai Express).  It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, get physically active and have some fun!  Please contact PA Medicine Hat Office for more information.

 
Below is a list of some shopping centres in which you can sign up for a mall walking program. Remember this is not the only option for exercising!  Contacting your local community or recreational centres for information about their programs may lead to an even better exercise plan for your lifestyle.

Calgary

  • Chinook Mall: Mall hours are Monday-Saturday 9:30am-9:00pm, Sunday 11:00am-6:00pm; No formal walking program; Doors open daily at 5:00am, and walkers are welcome; Mall contact number: (403)259-2022.
  • The Core-TD Square: Mall hours are Monday-Wednesday 9:30am-6:00pm, Thursday-Friday 9:30-8:00pm, Saturday 9:30am-6:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm; No formal walking program; Doors open Monday-Saturday at 5:00am, and Sundays at 10:00am, walkers are welcome; Mall contact number: (403)441-4940.
  • CrossIron Mills: Mall hours are Monday-Saturday 10:00am - 9:00pm, Sunday 11:00am-6:00pm;Working with Highland Primary Care Network to encourage walking; Doors open Monday-Saturday at 7:00am and Sundays at 8:00am; Highland Primary Care Network contact number: (403)999-1587.
  • Eau Claire Market: Mall hours are Monday-Wednesday 10:00am-6:00pm, Thursday-Friday 10:00am-8:00pm, Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm, Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm; No formal walking program; Doors open daily at 6:00am and walkers are welcome; Mall contact number: (403)264-6450. 
  • Market Mall: Mall hours are Monday-Friday 10:00am-9:00pm, Saturday 9:30am-8:00pm, Sunday 11:00am-6:00pm; No formal walking program; Doors open daily at 6:00am and walkers are welcome; Mall contact number: (403)288-5466.
  • Marlborough Mall: Mall hours are Monday-Friday 10:00am-9:00pm, Saturday 10:00am-7:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm; Working with Mosaic Primary Care Network to encourage walking; Doors open daily at 7:00am; Mosaic Primary Care Network contact number: (403)250-5059. 
  • North Hill Centre: Mall hours are Monday-Friday 10:00am-9:00pm, Saturday 9:30am-6:00pm, Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm; Working with the University of Calgary and the Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network, Walking group runs Monday-Friday from 8:00am-10:00am; If interested in joining, they can be contacted at (403)284-3726.
  • Southcentre Mall: Mall hours are Monday-Friday 9:30am-9:00pm, Saturday 9:30am-8:00pm, Sunday 11:00am-6:00pm; No formal walking program; Doors open daily at 7:00am and walkers are welcome; Mall contact number: (403)271-7670.
  • Sunridge Mall: Mall hours are Monday-Friday 10:00am-9:00pm, Saturday 10:00am-8:00pm, Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm; No formal walking program; Doors open daily at 7:00am, and walkers are welcome; Mall contact number: (403)293-8201.

Edmonton

  • Londonderry Mall: Mall hours are Monday-Friday 10:00am–9:00pm, Saturday 9:30am–5:30pm, Sundays 12:00pm-5:00pm; No formal walking program; Doors open daily at 6:00am, and walkers are welcome; Mall contact number: (780)476-1441.
  • Mill Woods Town Centre: Mall hours are Monday-Friday 10:00am–9:00pm, Saturday 9:30am–5:30pm, Sundays 12:00pm–5:00pm; Has a walking program; For more information contact: (780) 461-2400.
  • Northgate Centre: Mall hours are Monday-Friday 10:00am – 9:00pm, Saturday 9:30am – 5:30pm, Sundays 12:00pm – 5:00pm; Has a year-round walking program Monday-Friday from 8:30am–4:30pm; Log in at the administration office to track how long you’ve walked. Prizes are given as an incentive; Mall contact number: (780) 475-3695.
  • Southgate Centre: Mall hours are Monday-Friday 10:00am-9:00pm, Saturday 9:30am-6:00pm, Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm; Has a walking program; Mall contact number: (780)435-3721.
  • West Edmonton Mall: Mall hours are Monday-Saturday 10:00am–9:00pm, Sunday 11:00am–6:00pm; No formal walking program; Doors open daily at 6:00am, and walkers are welcome; Mall contact number: (780)444-5300.
  • Westmount Shopping Centre: Mall hours are Monday-Friday 10:00am–9:00pm, Saturday 9:30am–5:30pm, Sundays 12:00pm-5:00pm; No formal walking program; Doors opens daily at 6:00am, and walkers are welcome; Mall contact number: (780) 452-1234.

Grand Prairie

  • Grand Prairie Mall: Mall hours are Monday-Wednesday 9:30am – 6:00pm, Thursday-Friday 9:30am – 9:00pm, Saturday 9:30am –6:00pm , Sunday 12:00pm–5:00pm; No formal walking program, walkers are welcome during mall hours; Mall contact number: (780)-532-1810. 

Lloydminster

  • Lloyd Mall: The mall will be going under construction in 2014. The mall requests that no walking groups be set up at this time due to safety reasons.  

Lethbridge

  • Centre Village Mall: Mall hours are Monday-Wednesday 9:30am-5:30pm, Thursday-Friday 9:30am-8:30pm, Saturday 9:30am-5:30pm, Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm; No formal walking program; Doors open daily at 7:00am, and walkers are welcome; Mall contact number: (403)328-8835.
  • Lethbridge Centre: Mall hours are Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm, Closed Saturday and Sunday; No formal walking program, walkers are welcome during mall hours; Mall contact number: (403)327-6211.
  • Park Place Mall: Mall hours are Monday-Saturday 10:00am-9:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm; No formal walking program; Doors open daily at 8:30am, and walkers are welcome; Mall contact number: (403)320-0008.

Medicine Hat

  • Medicine Hat Mall:  This program is run by Parkinson Alberta Medicine Hat Office.  Every Tuesday from January through May at 11:00am.  Contact Beth at 403-243-9901.

Red Deer

  • Bower Place Mall: Mall hours are Monday-Saturday 9:30am-9:00pm, Sunday 11:00am-6:00pm; No formal walking program; Doors open daily at 7:30am, and walkers are welcome; Mall contact number: (403)342-5240.
  • Parkland Mall: Mall hours are Monday-Friday 9:30am-9:00pm, Saturday 9:30am-6:00pm, Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm; No formal walking program; Doors open Monday-Friday at 8:00am; Mall contact number: (403)343-8997.

If knowing the benefits of exercise isn’t motivation enough, here are some other tips that could help get you moving:

  • Keep a log of your exercise on the calendar: Seeing it each morning on the fridge could help remind you to get out there (especially if its been a few days since your last walk).
  • Find a exercise partner: Spouses, friends, and family that want some extra movement can get to spend time with you also.
  • Wear a pedometer: Seeing that step tally rise and having a goal of a certain number of steps in a day helps. Even a quick 10-minute walk just to reach that magic number adds up over time.
  • Leave your running shoes in the open: If you see your gear patiently waiting for some attention it could be just encouraging enough to make you go.
  • Reward yourself: Not just the benefit of exercise has to be your reward. Put a loonie in a jar for each walk you take and when you have a bit saved up buy yourself a gift! Bribery works for children; why not try it on yourself?
  • Variety: It isn’t just the spice of life: trying a different activity such as bowling, dancing, aquasize might rev up your interest in being active.

This news piece was compiled by the following third-year Mount Royal University Students; under the supervision of their professor Dixie Cole, RN, MN:  Emmy Richards, Krystal Reitsma, Cecille Visser, Sylvia Pflug, Katrina Medina, Jolene Moen, Mary Llaneta, and Gillian McArthur.

Study Reference 
Speelman, A. D., van de Warrenburg, B. P., van Nimwegen, M., Petzinger, G. M., Marten, M., Bloem, B. R. (2011). How might physical activity patients with parkinson disease? Nature Reviews Neurology 7, 528-534 doi: 10.1038/nrneurol.2011.107
 
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