Transcribed from video.
Mah Shi Min, a physiotherapist from Sengkang Health introduces herself, as well as Mr Lee and Mr Ong, who have Parkinson's disease. Mr Ong will perform the simpler, modified exercises.
Living with Parkinson, you may experience some difficulty with balance. Balance re-training should be incorporated into your exercise programme. Balance training three times a week can help to reduce risk of falls as well as improve your balance.
Before you begin, here are some tips on how to exercise safely:
Firstly, we will have Mr Lee demonstrate these standing exercises. These should be done in a safe and comfortable manner.
Stand upright facing a chair or a table.
Standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold for 30 seconds.
Stand with your feet together. Keep your body up upright. Hold for 30 seconds.
Now, Stand with one foot in front of the other, so your heel and toe are in line, keep your body upright and maintain your balance. Try to look straight ahead. Hold for 30 seconds.
Repeat with the other foot in front.
You can progress this exercise into a dynamic one.
Choose a spot ahead of you and focus on it to keep you steady as you walk by placing your heel just in front of the toe of your other foot.
Repeat for 20 steps.
Raise one leg so you are balancing on your opposite side. Hold for 10 seconds.
Repeat with the other leg. As you feel steadier, you can balance for a longer time.
For patients whose balance are more severely affected, you may follow the modified version which Mr Ong is demonstrating, using a step board.
Now, we will move on to a series of dynamic balance exercises that involve maintaining your balance whilst moving your body.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart.
Slowly shift your weight to the right as far as possible, without taking a step.
Return to starting position. Then repeat to the left side.
Hold each position for 3 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Stand with your back against the wall with your feet some distance away.
Pull your body away from the wall using your leg strength, until your body is upright.
Slowly move your hips backwards until it touches the wall again then move your upper body to touch the wall. Your toes should lift up slightly during movement.
Repeat 10 times.
Now, we move onto a series of dynamic balance exercises that involve maintaining your balance whilst moving your feet.
Take a step sideways with one leg, followed by the other leg.
Continue walking sideways for 10 steps.
Repeat in other direction.
Mr Ong is demonstrating a modified version of the exercise.
Step back leading with your toes, followed by your heel. Repeat on the other leg.
Continue for 10 steps.
Stand close to a stable support. Place one foot on step and then place it back on the ground.
Repeat with the other leg.
Continue for 10 steps while alternating between legs.
Next, we will practice taking a quick saving step, which is what needs to happen automatically if you trip or overbalance. For example, if you trip forward, you need to take a quick step forward to prevent falling over.
Slowly shift your weight as far forwards or sideways as possible, then take a quick step forward.
Hold balance in this position for 3 seconds, then return to start position.
Repeat 5 times.
In this instance, Mr Ong is performing a forward saving step, whereas Mr Lee is performing a side saving step.
Now we will move onto the final series of challenging dynamic balance exercises. These should only be attempted if you can do all the previous exercises without difficulty.
Place 2 objects about 2m apart on the floor. Walk in a figure of eight pattern and maintain your balance.
Practice walking for 2 minutes while performing one of the following tasks:
For dual tasking, primary attention should be on balancing and walking, with all other activities as secondary tasks.
Stop if balance or gait pattern is affected.
If you have Parkinson's disease and have not been referred to a neurological physiotherapist for rehabilitation, you can obtain a referral from your neurologist.
You can find neurological physiotherapists in all acute hospitals.
Remember, it is never too late to start exercising. Begin today and enjoy its benefits! If you have already been exercising daily, keep up the great work!
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